Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Women & Children First - Possibly....

As these articles imply, it's not always the case of "women and children first". Read on....

From the New York Times:
On one boat, it seems, the men thought only of themselves; on the other, they were more likely to help women and children. This occurred for one key reason, researchers said: time. The Lusitania sank in about 18 minutes, while the Titanic took nearly three hours. Women and children fared much better on the Titanic.

And from Business Week:
In a life-and-death situation, how much time people have to react has a lot to do with whether they behave selfishly or selflessly, if a new critique of the infamous Titanic and Lusitania ocean liner disasters is any indication.

The comparative look at who survived two of the 20th century's most infamous shipping calamities suggests that the so-called "economic theory" of human behavior -- namely, that in the face of disaster, rational self-preservation trumps social norms and rules -- does not always hold water.


Keith said...

I think it is very difficult to say what someone might do in any given situation, panic changes a lot of things. I like to think that I would do the right thing, how could one not? But it is not always that clear cut.
Certainly I would put my family first before I started spending my efforts and energy elsewhere, but if I could help someone without risking my own family, then I think it is a given. But like I said, one never knows for sure until it goes down.
Le Loup.

Melisende said...

Le Loup - you said it! Unless one actually finds themselves in that same situation, one can only speculate how you would react. We would all like to consider ourselves noble and generous towards others - and who knows what other obstacles could be thrown in your path. Again, this "study" can really only to be considered speculative at best.