People have a tendency to resist unfairness as soon a profit-maximizing agent or a firm is seeking to overly exploit some profit opportunities.
In 1986, psychologist and economist Daniel Kahneman showed that even profit-maximizing firms will have an incentive to act as a manner that is perceived as fair to their customer. People have a tendency to resist unfairness as soon a profit-maximizing agent or a firm is seeking to overly exploit some profit opportunities.
For instance, a question was put to 191 adult residents in Vancouver: When football games tickets are in great demand, which one of the allocation methods seems the most and least fair?
- By auction: the tickets are sold to the highest bidders.
- By lottery: the tickets are sold to the people whose names are drawn.
- By queue: the tickets are sold on a first-come first-served basis.
Auction came out as the least fair (75% of the respondents) and queuing being the most fair.
Daniel Kahneman; Jack L. Knetsch; Richard H. Thaler, Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics, The Journal of Business, 1986
[When people complete a questionnaire with some answers pre-filled]
You might think that people sometimes check the default box because they can’t be bothered making a choice. It sometimes might be true for daily trivial choices, but in case of complex decisions to make, unable to make our own mind, we take whatever option is offered to us. We in fact refuse to take the responsibility for our own decisions.
Context and environment matters in the way we make choices.