Benjamin Franklin and Haters

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin and Haters in the same title caught my attention, but I kept reading the article by Maria Popova on BrainPickings discussing David McRaney’s book You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself because it starts by questioning how we experience reality.

“We now know that there is no way you can ever know an “objective” reality, and we know that you can never know how much of subjective reality is a fabrication, because you never experience anything other than the output of your mind. Everything that’s ever happened to you has happened inside your skull.”

The article discusses The Benjamin Franklin effect. It explains that when we are kind to a person, without any extrinsic or obvious reward for being kind, we must justify it to our selves, so we convince ourselves that we must like that person. The article calls this creating an intrinsic reward for our actions.

“This is why volunteering feels good and unpaid interns work so hard.”

This effect was named after Benjamin Franklin because he was prolific at turning haters into friends by tricking the people that disliked him into doing him some kindness. The hater, wanting to solve his cognitive dissonance would then have to convince himself that he must have liked Franklin all along.

According to the Franklin effect we like people we are nice to.

Do you think that you end up liking people you are nice to, or are you just nice to people you like?
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