We are more or less expeditious in applying our justice to others depending on whether we are in front of other people or not, that is, if our punishment is exercised from a public or a private pulpit .
In fact, according to this study , people punish three times more harshly in the presence of their peers, because punishment is a way of saying tacitly: I find this behavior very reprehensible and my anger shows that not only do I not tolerate it in others, but would eventually not do it on myself either .
Signaling of virtue
Punishment is central to two distinctively human phenomena: group cooperation and morality . There is currently no consensus on which evolutionary model best explains this phenomenon in humans.
However, in the cited study, two experiments have been presented in which participants are induced to commit moral violations and then present to third parties the opportunity to pay to punish the wrongdoers in order to see what weighed more, if morality or cooperation in groups .
The results suggest that the presence of an audience, even if only that of the experimenter, was sufficient to provoke an increase in moralistic punishment .
Part of the idea of the virtue of exhibition originates in the scientific study of signaling theory , initially conceptualized by Charles Darwin and his work The Origin of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex , published in 1871 . Little by little, other authors have been adding new evidence to the scientific corpus on how such a trend operates.
But then this outrage that we use so much to ingratiate ourselves with our group, is it real or feigned? Psychologists Jillian Jordan and David Rand argue that the signaling of virtue as feigned outrage is separable from actual outrage toward a particular belief, but that most instances of virtue display are in fact simultaneously actual outrage .
Or said in Roman paladino: we are exhibitionists of our morality to fit in socially, but we also end up integrating it into our value system as if it were real. A dynamic that could be extrapolated to many of the other things we do in our lives: