“Life Isn’t Fair, So Why Do We Behave As If It Is?”

Raising a kid in the Bay Area you hear a lot about “socioemotional development,” which focuses on helping a child understand and convey their emotions. In my household right now this means a lot of discussion about “fairness,” usually motivated by my daughter perceiving that she, or someone else, is getting the short end of the stick.

The Atlantic, which every issue does these great thematic round-ups of academic research, recently published “Life Isn’t Fair.” Here are two of my favorite blurbs from the post:

  • People who frequently patronize a business believe they are more likely than other customers to win a given prize drawing by that business—a phenomenon the researchers called the “lucky loyalty” effect
  • Researchers found that when people felt powerless, they were more likely to say that race, class, and gender disparities were justified [hw note: oh hello Election 2016!]