With the icy weather lingering in Vancouver we’ve seen people push and shove each other for a bucket of salt, and even put free salt up for sale.
A behavioural science professor at UBC explains why some people seem to be losing their minds and manners over the mineral.
Joandrea Hoegg says when people need something, like salt for roads and sidewalks when it’s icy and they can’t get their hands on it, especially when it’s free, that can make people act in abnormal, emotional ways.
“And this notion that it is available but there’s not that much of it does create this sort of feeling of competition and you feel like you have to beat the other person to get to it.”
Hoegg says that competitive feeling can get blood boiling in an irrational way.
“[The] mindset that it’s me against you and I have to get there and you won’t, and that can lead to that slightly more aggressive behaviour.”
Hoegg says the good news is that when things get really bad, like in earthquakes, people tend to band together and their humanity shines through.