Synchrony and group moral hypocrisy

While motoric synchronization plays an important role in cooperation and cohesion in smaller groups, it can lead to moral hypocrisy in favor of a smaller sub-group within larger groups. Radim, Radek, and Martin studied such hypocrisy in an experiment manipulating the rate of synchronization.

22 Dec 2020

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Their data suggest that participants highly synchronized with the confederate judged his moral transgression less harshly, with the effect mediated by the participants’ feeling of being a part of the same group as the confederate. According to Radim, Radek, and Martin, this effect can help explain nepotism and cronyism, as generating cooperation and cohesion in a face-to-face manner in smaller groups can undermine cooperation in larger groups. They also discuss that cooperation in larger groups needs to overcome these tribal mechanisms by associating them with largely shared and emotionally charged symbols provided by moralizing gods, state ideologies, or social institutions.

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