Scroll through just about any Facebook comments section and it wont take you long to find some unsavory, and often unprovoked comments.
This just goes to show that people can be real assholes, however the reason why has long been more or less a mystery. After all we’ve all heard “Oh they’re just an asshole” as an explanation for someones behavior. Recently however, psychologists at Yale University seem to have discovered the answer for what makes some people such dicks while others are so nice.
Adam Bear and David Rand developed a special study where participants played games that had two options, to be selfish or to be helpful. The payoff was sometimes higher depending on the game. In some games, it paid to cooperate. In others, it paid to be self-interested.
Their study was based off a model which “incorporates ideas from the evolutionary game theory of cooperation and the behavioral economics of intuition and deliberation.” Basically this means it looks at how we evolved to channel intuition and decide whether or not to work with people.
As it turns out, being an asshole has more to do with the people you’re surrounded by than anything else. It’s definitely nurture, not nature. People who came from supportive, friendly environments tended to be nicer. Those who came from colder environments, well, not so nice.
The big lesson to take away here is that, if someone’s a dick, chances are, the people in their lives are dicks too…