From the desk of Dr. Peter Malinowski, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the School of Natural Sciences & Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University and founding member of the Liverpool Diamond Way Buddhist Centre:
Buddhists make rational economic decisions
A recent study into human decision-making revealed that experienced Buddhist meditators act more rationally in social situations that are commonly experienced as unfair.
The study, carried out by researchers in the US and Canada, compared the decisions of experienced Buddhist meditators with that of control participants during the so-called Ultimatum Game. In a (simulated) two-person exchange the participants were offered a split of a certain amount of money ($20). If they decided to reject the offer, proposer and respondent got nothing; otherwise both received their respective share. Typically, participants tend to reject offers that are perceived as particularly unfair, i.e. when they would receive 20% or less. However, a more rational choice would be to accept every non-zero offer, as it would improve ones economic situation. The results showed that the Buddhist meditators accepted significantly more of the unfair offers ($2 / $18 and $1 / $19) than the control participants.