Scientists have found out why people turn to dark forces and how they divide the world into “good” and “evil”

Canadian scientists decided to find out why the motives of evil and good mythical creatures in all mythologies of the world are so similar to each other and to understand how people themselves see good and evil in everyday life.

It turned out that ideas about good and evil beings depend on the views of the most ordinary people.

“Our results show that humans expect good creatures to be sensitive to the intent behind requests, while evil ones don’t care,” said Ori Friedman, professor of developmental psychology at Waterloo and lead author of the study. “These results shape people’s expectations for queries addressed to both ordinary people and supernatural beings.”

Research shows that people have different ideas about how good or bad motives influence the decisions of others. People believe that evil people are indifferent to anything that does not directly affect their own goals.

These results support previous research suggesting that at least some of people’s everyday perceptions of supernatural beings may be based on opinions of others.

“One aspect of perceiving a person as ‘evil’ may be that we expect them to pay less attention to intentions and instead focus more on the results of actions,” says Brandon Goulding, Ph.D. in developmental psychology and co-author of the study. …

The researchers examined people’s expectations of good and evil agents through five experiments. In the experiment, 2231 participants read stories about the protagonist’s request for a human or supernatural being and assessed the likelihood that the request would be satisfied. When a request was addressed to someone conditionally good, the scores depended on whether the requestor really understood what he was asking for. It was expected that evil people and creatures would satisfy requests more often, but on the condition that the questioner was confused – while his intentions were not important.

“This study tells us something very interesting about how people feel about good and evil, namely that people don’t just think that agents of evil are focused solely on causing harm. Instead, people associate evil with indifference to what people want, ”Friedman said. “It also suggests that people think moral excellence is about more than just achieving good results. They believe that moral excellence is about caring for what others really want. “

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