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A belief in meritocracy is not only false: it’s bad for you

aeon.co

Meritocracy

Meritocracy is a leading social ideal where the rewards of life - money, power, jobs - are distributed according to skill and effort. It is often referred to as 'creating a level playing field' where players can rise to the position that fits their merit.

Meritocracy is o...

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Most people think the world is meritocratic. 84 % of people in the UK believe that hard work is essential for getting ahead, and 69 % of Americans believe that people are rewarded for intelligence and skill.

Although this view is widely held, it is demonstrably false. Talent and t...

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Research in psychology and neuroscience suggests that believing in meritocracy makes people more selfish, less self-critical, and more prone to acting in discriminatory ways.

Multiple studies found that subjects who are made to believe that they had won based on skill made...

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The 'even playing field' metaphor is used to avoid unfair inequalities based on gender, race, etc. Ironically, attempts to implement meritocracy leads to the inequalities that it aims to avoid.

This 'paradox of meritocracy' happens because adopting meritocracy as a value convinces peop...

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As with any ideology, meritocracy justifies the status quo, explaining why people are in a specific place in the social order.

Meritocracy also offers flattery. When success is determined by merit, each win can be viewed as a reflection of one's own virtue...

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Debates about the extent to which specific individuals are 'self-made' over the effects of various forms of 'privilege' can be very heated.

It is not just about who gets to have what, but about how individuals validate and take credit for their successes. Proposing that success is the resu...

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