Are Watched People Nice People?

I’ve been reading that there are a number of scientifically sound studies in psychology that suggest people tend to be good, more generous, altruistic when they’re being watched. And, more specifically, when they are thinking about God, or gods, or other supernatural entities people are more inclined to behave nicely toward others.

I’ve recently been made aware of the fact that a quite large percentage of prisoners in American prisons suffer from one sort of disability or another. According to the report, one of the most common disabilities among the incarcerated is something called ‘executive function disorder’. What this means, I guess, is that those who suffer from EFD are unable to organize themselves well enough to take care of those basic actions required to function successfully, you know, get the things done that need to be done. These folks are apparently unable to get in step with their fellow citizens, or, to put it more simply, they don’t follow the rules, which seems to me a pretty good explanation as to why they’re incarcerated.

I wouldn’t be surprised if these incarcerated individuals thought about God quite a bit, at least in the beginnings of their time behind bars. I wonder if this means, being watched as they are with great care, these folks are nicer, more generous and cooperative with each other than they might otherwise be.

horrors of war

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