Written by Panorama resident, Brian Hovis. May 2017
One of the aspects of living at Panorama I noticed after living here awhile is that residents generally treat each other with respect and a spirit of cooperation. Even when there are fundamental differences in outlook and opinion (for instance, in political persuasion) a general sense of civility prevails.
I recently ran across a new study in the journal of Science Advances that struck me as applicable to Panorama. This has to do with the connection between knowing someone’s name and one’s willingness to cooperate with them. In the study, Chinese students played the classic “Prisoner’s Dilemma” game. In this game, two players are faced with a choice of acting for themselves or cooperating. It is widely thought that there is a human tendency to act for oneself and abandon cooperation even when a cooperative effort results in greater overall success. However, the study found that the students were more willing to cooperate if they knew each others’ names. Essentially it is harder abandon someone when you know their name.
There may be many factors at play at Panorama that combine to instill a high level of civility: our upbringing, our physical closeness, and perhaps common backgrounds. But having the opportunity and encouragement to wear our nametags to social and other functions can’t hurt. After all, everyone loves the sound of their own name!