The behavior of others has, in fact, a strong influence on ours.
All our lives we hear our parents and grandmothers say that ‘imitate is ugly’ and that it is not because others act in such a way that we have to do the same. You are quite right, but it’s all a theory, says a recent study.
According to Time, a team of researchers from the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in France concluded that some third-party behaviors may actually interfere with ours. In practice, says the study, laziness and impatience may be contagious, as well as prudence.
Published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, the study was based on the analysis of 56 people, all of whom were challenged to make decisions that involved risk, delay or effort.
In a first phase of the study, the participants had to choose between two scenarios; In a second phase, they had to assume about the possible action of other people before the same two scenarios; And, in a third phase, again had to take a decision in the same two scenarios. And what happened? The participants took in the last phase the decision they assumed in the second, that is, they acted as they thought the others would act.
This contagion was notorious in situations of laziness, impatience and prudence. However, although the result was clear, researchers have not yet been able to prove whether imitation or contagion behavior is due to pressure or the urge to have intense feedback.