Reality TV is Hopeless, Literally

Maybe the reason Reality TV works so well is that truth really is stranger than fiction. Ars Technica reports on a study that supports the notion that TV Reality is actually, Reality.

If you’ve marvelled at how rarely the nice guys succeed in these programs, the paper in the latest Journal of Personality and Social Psychology educates you in line one: “The Desire to Expel Unselfish Members from the Group” .

According to the study, altruistic members of a group ‘raise the bar’ for everyone else, and are universally reviled for it. The results were repeated, just to be sure. Yep, Goody-Two-Shoes suck.

I suspect there’s a cultural bias here, but anyone who has worked in team knows the sort of thing that is happening.

It’s another reason I believe the group that has a vision beyond itself, that has a reason to keep resetting the bar higher, is the one that will succeed. It’s true of sporting teams, of churches, of businesses, of volunteer organisations. Where there is no vision, the people perish.

And we get another season of Survivor.

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