This study should be presented to those who sit in some sort of judgment for a living..
Most of us, whether we admit it or not, are moral hypocrites. We judge others more severely than we judge ourselves.
Mounting evidence suggests moral decisions result from the jousting between our knee-jerk responses (think "survival instinct") and our slower, but more collected evaluations. Which is more responsible for our self-leniency?
To find out, a recent study presented people with two tasks. One was described as tedious and time-consuming; the other, easy and brief. The subjects were asked to assign each task to either themselves or the next participant. They could do this independently or defer to a computer, which would assign the tasks randomly. Eighty-five percent of 42 subjects passed up the computer’s objectivity and assigned themselves the short task – leaving the laborious one to someone else. Furthermore, they thought their decision was fair. However, when 43 other subjects watched strangers make the same decision, they thought it unjust.