Altruistic Manipulation?

Photo Courtesy of  Flickr

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

Before the holiday season is over, I'd like to share a video that left me with mixed feelings. I've always been a big fan of the work of Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield of Vital Smarts, the organization that has given us Crucial Conversations, Crucial Confrontations, Influencer and Change Anything. Their work has provided a myriad of powerful tools to improve communication and bring about behavioral change.

The video shows an experiment in how the language used to frame a situation can influence the behavior of others. In this case the subjects are children during the holiday season and the behavior is sharing or taking for oneself.  Although the intent was altruistic, I couldn't help but feel the adults were manipulating the children to behave as they wanted them to. On the other hand, a little more sharing would certainly be a good thing. Do the ends justify the means?  Watch it for yourself and see what you think:

Does Santa Make Us Selfish?