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2CH news comments

What’s your deviance threshold?

#908 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 15 Jun 2014.

Queensland University of Technology researcher Paula Dootson has embarked on a study to discover how Australian consumers rank acceptable, questionable, and unacceptable behaviour.

According to her study of more than 300 Australian consumers, as reported in The Brisbane Times, Ms Dootson said about 50 per cent believed illegal downloading was unacceptable. But in some cases, holding that belief didn’t stop people from going ahead anyway. Illegal downloading was justified on the basis that organisations weren’t giving people access.

Ms Dootson said every person had a different “deviance threshold.”  “The problem with most consumer deviance is it goes undetected so people don’t really feel like they’re getting punished for it, which in turn is re-enforcing their behaviours,” she said.

Wouldn’t it be good if we all did the right thing, the virtuous thing, by default rather than because we fear the punishment that deviant behaviour attracts. But that, I suppose, is mere human nature.

I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.

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