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In a lecture by a Chinese CEO with a consulting background I learned an effect called 剧场效应 (can be transliterated into 'theatre effect' in English) and I can explain that a bit in the following story:

In a theatre a short man stands up to see the play (and no one can forbid him), and then the audience behind him should also stand up. And finally everyone stands up in the theatre but no one can benefit from such a change.

This is an analogy of same phenomena in the society. For instance we can see from the 996.icu project on GitHub that in China everyone tries to perform better than the others and survive. And because there are so many short men in China who cannot even survive if not try their best. Then almost all of the workers in China work very very hard.

I don't know if such an effect is named theatre effect in English. Is there a name of this within research on psychology?

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    $\begingroup$ This is an interesting hypothesis. Have you tried searching Google? What's the closest you have found? $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Apr 25 at 18:06
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    $\begingroup$ This instantly reminded me of the cascading effect reclining seats have on airplanes. :) $\endgroup$ – Steven Jeuris Apr 26 at 11:55

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