Ever felt like you could really do with a scientific reason to justify your tendencies to be a jealous green-eyed monster? Well, today’s your lucky day.
A new study on behaviour has revealed that the most common personality type in humans is ‘envious’ – or someone who just wants to do better than their peers, irrespective of the outcome.
The study, which was published in the Science Advances journal, monitored how participants reacted when faced with a dilemma.
Researchers were then able to classify the majority of people (90%) into four basic personality types: optimistic, pessimistic, trusting and envious.
Optimists, pessimists and the trusting type make up 20% of the sample population each, while envious people made up 30%. The remaining 10% of people were unable to be defined.
Optimists believe that they and their partner will make the best choice for both of them, pessimists select the option which they see as the lesser of two evils, and the trusting group are born collaborators that will always cooperate and don’t mind if that results in winning or losing.
The envious group don’t actually mind what they achieve, as long as they’re better than everyone else.
The 541 volunteers were introduced to various social dilemmas with options leading to cooperation or conflict with others.
After the experiment, the researchers developed a computer algorithm, which was able to classify the results into these four personality types.
Yamir Moreno said: “The results go against certain theories; the one which states that humans act purely rationally for example, and, therefore, they should be taken into consideration in redesigning social and economic policies, as well as those involved in cooperation.”
“These types of studies are important because they improve existing theories on human behavior by giving them an experimental base.”