Studies: Rich People Are More Likely To Lie, Cheat, And Steal Candy From Children
The Daily Sheeple
February 27th, 2012
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Maybe, as the novelist F. Scott FitzgeraldÂ suggested, the rich really are different. Theyâ€™re more likely to behave badly, according to seven experiments that weighed the ethics of hundreds of people.
The â€śupper class,â€ť 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 â€śperceive greed as positive and beneficial,â€ť 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 â€śminor infractions,â€ť that factor made the results â€śeven more surprising,â€ť 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 â€śrolled diceâ€ť 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.
â€śA $50 prize is a measly sum to people who make $250,000 a year,â€ť he said in a telephone interview. â€śSo 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€ť
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