Laziness Can Be Blamed On Others; It Is Contagious!

First Posted: Apr 01, 2017 03:07 AM EDT

Laziness is contagious and so are impatience and prudence, a new research has suggested. Therefore, next time on feeling any of these, one can blame their family, friends or colleagues.

A research due from France’s Brain and Spine Institute in Paris found that people learn being lazy, impatient or prudent from those around them. Consequently, they unconsciously adjust their own attitudes to mimic those of others'. The research was published in PLOS Computational Biology.

As per the two authors, prudence is associated with high risk evaluation, impatience reflects delay and lazy people find that rewards are not worth the effort. "Being exposed to others' attitudes towards risk, effort, delay provides the observer with an opportunity to learn utile information regarding 'best' policies,” the researchers said in a statement. "Their attitude tends to become more similar to those of people around them.”

According to the scientists, acting in a manner similar to those around us could be an evolutionary strategy. The evolutionary advantage of this imitative behavior is that it helps in fast learning. When a person copies another, it implies that one does not have to waste time figuring out something already known.

The researchers, namely Marie Devaine and Jean Dauizeau, used mathematical modeling to study the responses of 56 participants -- to a series of decisions made by them both before and after observing the responses of others. The research due made the participants believe that the decisions made by other people were real, when in truth they had been carefully manipulated.

The study found that people become significantly more prudent, lazy or impatient -- lazy after watching the behavior of a person more susceptible to these traits. The importance of the research also lies in its ability to accurately predict human behavior from a mathematical model.

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