The zebra crossing, irrationa behavior and dishonest

Introduction: Describe a problematic behavior

I arrive at the zebra crossing, marked by a traffic light. It is red, I can not pass.
here are several people with me waiting for the traffic light to turn green.
There are not any car, but nobody crosses.
The traffic light is still red, when suddenly, someone skips the rules and he crosses.

A moment later another person crosses, followed by another, and then another and another.
Almost all of us crossed the zebra crossing, some have skipped traffic rules.
However others had not.

What happened?

We have cheated and we have skipped the law to save a few measly seconds.
Despite the risk that a car could appear suddenly and we run over.
Our honesty has decreased. Not much because it is a misdemeanor.
How does dishonesty of others influence us?
How many people have been fined for crossing a zebra crossing when they should not?
In Spain, not many.
This behavior can bring us problems. Do we obey the law? or do we search the risk?
This occurs in many cities of the world, in some of them more, in some of them less.
It is interesting to know
the impulse that leads us to make this cheat and how to prevent people from doing it.
Outline the existing research

As we can see in the article by Gino, F., Ayal, S., & Ariely, D. Contagion and Differentiation in Unethical Behavior, people become dishonest if the people around them also become dishonest.

In the case presented in this paper, to cross a zebra crossing , you can see that people cross more easily if others have crossed before.
You could design a simple experiment in your own city, of course it would not be very rigorous.

The experiment is to reach a stoplight and watch that happen,
if people cross or wait for it to turn green.
We write down what happens.
After a time we repeat the experiment but now asked some friends that they  
cross despite being in red (if your life is not in danger of course)
and observe the rest of the people.
Other variations of this experiment is to observe what
happens when there is a cop near or a little boy by the hand of parents who say:
"In red we must not cross"

Personally, in Granada (Spain),
I notice that people are encouraged to cross once other people have crossed.
When there is a police officer they are  not cross and people often do not do it when a family
is teaching their children how to cross.

We could also create a mathematical-computational model, we are working on it,
that models this situation. At least as an approximation
and thus able to do more experiments.
How first approximation we could use the Issing's model or others ,
Sociophysics simulations II: opinion dynamics MODELING COOPERATIVE BEHAVIOR IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES, Vol. 779, No. 1. (2005), pp. 56-68 by Dietrich Stauffer edited by Joaqu'in Marro, Pedro L. Garrido, Miguel A. Munoz

Propose a solution

Once we know this is  behavior, we should not stop here, we have to continue and find a
way to fix it. It is not good that people will go to cross a zebra crossing running into a risk
just to gain a few seconds of time.

In the same paper by Gino, F., Ayal, S., & Ariely, D. Contagion and Differentiation in Unethical Behavior, they give us solutions.
We put a police to punish immediately the first person who crosses unduly
this makes of the rest people want to be less dishonest.
But this solution is very expensive,
think about the amount of traffic lights in a city, how many officers police would be needed?
Perhaps They can be replaced by security cameras and Administration
could send fines to home of dishonest people, but this is still expensive.

You could also put a voice of a small child crossing saying it's wrong, or increase the morality of the people in the schools, in those areas of road safety education .

For now this is hypothetical solutions, perhaps the computational model could to give us more light .


Este es un minipaper que tuve que hacer en inglés para un curso sobre comportamientos irracionales. Ha tenido buenas críticas por los revisores y he decidido compartirlo tal cual.Como explico puedo crear alguna simulación para que juguéis. Me pongo a ello para ofrecerla más adelante. Estoy contento (por ser mi primer trabajo en inglés jeje)

PD: Gracias a Jorge que me hizo de pre-referee ;)

1 comentario:

  1. ¡Hey! Lo leo un poco tarde, pero de nada, te ha quedado muy bien :)

    ¡A ver si el siguiente no tarda!