Well this is neat, some researchers are arguing that fairness is a hard-wired emotion.
The belief that things should be divided fairly among members of a group isn’t just a matter of culture or reason — it’s an emotion that’s built into the human brain.
That’s the suggestion of a new study that posed the question: Is it better to give food to some hungry children while others go hungry? Or is it better that every child get a share, albeit a smaller one?
“People prefer equity, when all things are equal, to efficiency,” said study lead researcher Ming Hsu, a fellow at the University of Illinois Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.
And different regions of the brain are involved when making decisions involving fairness or efficiency, he said.
“In terms of the brain, we find areas of the insular cortex are activated when people were choosing the equitable allocation of food,” Hsu said. “Given the involvement of the insular cortex in emotions and fairness judgments, we conclude that emotions are underlying equity judgments.”
Other areas of the brain are activated when people are making judgments about efficiency, he said.