Studies: Rich People Are More Likely To Lie, Cheat, And Steal Candy From Children
The Daily Sheeple
February 27th, 2012
Maybe, as the novelist F. Scott FitzgeraldÂ suggested, the rich really are different. Theyâre more likely to behave badly, according to seven experiments that weighed the ethics of hundreds of people.
The âupper class,â as defined by the study, were more likely to break the law while driving, take candy from children, lie in negotiation, cheat to increase their odds of winning a prize and endorse unethical behavior at work, researchers reported today in theÂ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Taken together, the experiments suggest at least some wealthier people âperceive greed as positive and beneficial,â probably as a result of education, personal independence and the resources they have to deal with potentially negative consequences, the authors wrote.
While the tests measured only âminor infractions,â that factor made the results âeven more surprising,â saidÂ Paul Piff, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at theÂ University of California, Berkeley, and a study author.
One experiment invited 195 adults recruited usingÂ CraigslistÂ to play a game in which a computer ârolled diceâ for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate. The numbers each participant rolled were the same; anyone self reporting a total higher than 12 was lying about their score. Those in wealthier classes were found to be more likely to fib, Piff said.
âA $50 prize is a measly sum to people who make $250,000 a year,â he said in a telephone interview. âSo why are they more inclined to cheat? For a person with lower socioeconomic status, that $50 would get you more, and the risks are small.â
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