REG: Listen. If you really wanted to join the P.F.J., you’d have to really hate the Romans.
BRIAN: I do!
REG: Oh, yeah? How much?
BRIAN: A lot!
REG: Right. You’re in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the fucking Judean People’s Front.
– Life of Brian (1979)
Apparently the only people we hate more than the Judean People’s Front are do-gooders. From a new paper:
An initial study investigating tolerance of group members who abuse a public good surprisingly showed that unselfish members (those who gave much toward the provision of the good but then used little of the good) were also targets for expulsion from the group. Two follow-up studies replicated this and ruled out explanations grounded in the target being seen as confused or unpredictable. A fourth study suggested that the target is seen by some as establishing an undesirable behavior standard and by others as a rule breaker. Individuals who formed either perception expressed a desire for the unselfish person to be removed from the group. [Emphasis mine]
The desire to expel unselfish members from the group. Craig D Parks, Asako B Stone (2010). Journal of personality and social psychology 99 (2) p. 303-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0018403