About Us

Victoria Pynchon

As the co-founder of She Negotiates Consulting and Training, I offer my services as a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant....

She Mediates

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She Negotiates

She Negotiates

The 33 cent wage and income gap is unacceptable and unnecessary. So is the cliché glass ceiling. Bottom line, our...

Money Money Money Money Money Money Money

(money money money money money it makes the world go round)

As the comments to recent reports of associate year-end bonuses attest (see the Wall Street Journal Law Blog) it's the comparison of economic rewards rather than amount of income itself that makes workers unhappy with their lot.      .    

The research cited below doesn't explain this behavioral tic but it does normalize it.

                                                                              Liza, Cabaret, singing Money

This is the Capuchin monkey, many of whom have been trained to work for "money" by researchers. (where's PETA when you need them?)  

As Forbes Online reported earlier this year in Primate Economics, these monkeys refuse to work if they see another "earning" an  unequal share of the rewards. 

What does the capuchin consider "unequal?" 

Apparently the capuchin will more or less happily "work" for another "CEO" monkey until the CEO begins to "earn" five times as much food as the "worker" does for the employee's labor.    

When that critical inequity is reached, the laborer rebels and refuses to work, leaving both monkeys without "income."

It's not just quantity that triggers the primate response to the provision of unequal rewards.  The capuchin also digs his heels in and refuses to go to the office if a co-worker is seen to be receiving better quality compensation.

After training the monkeys to trade pebbles for slices of cucumber, the capuchin happily played the game.  Once one was given a more desireable grape while the other continued to receive only cucumbers, the cucumber recipient became agitated, threw his pebbles out of his cage and eventually refused to perform any further tasks for the researchers whatsoever.  

The obvious take away?

People are less concerned about absolute levels of wages or standards of living, compared with how they are doing relative to others. Rewards in a market economy [must be shared, but] the essential flaw in systems like communism [is that] people are expected to share resources without regard to how much work they do. If you cooperate, you have to watch what the other person is getting,"  say the scientists.  You need to have some level of reciprocity.

Comments (3)

Read through and enter the discussion by using the form at the end
Jordan - September 5, 2007 4:39 AM

What are the laws with having capuchin monkeys that work with a street magician for tips. How much would insurance be? Thanks, Jordan

Jordan, Sorry I have no idea but I find a lot of people -- well dozens -- find my site by asking their search engines to tell them about the legality of keeping capuchin monkeys so there must be a site somewhere that covers the issue. Why don't you start with wikipedia & then call your local sheriff's or police station. Good luck. Vickie

storage ny - October 23, 2012 6:07 PM

I do agree with all the ideas you have introduced to your post.
They are very convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are very brief for newbies.
May you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time?
Thank you for the post.

process at home - March 7, 2013 6:11 PM

Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of.
I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people
think about worries that they plainly don't know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

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