Tuesday, February 28, 2012
This Just In - Rich People Lie & Cheat
Rich people are more likely to lie and cheat than ordinary stiffs like you. A study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences began when a PhD candidate, Paul Piff, wanted to explore whether higher social class was linked to higher ideals.
The answer Piff found after conducting seven different experiments is: no. The pursuit of self-interest is a “fundamental motive among society’s elite, and the increased want associated with greater wealth and status can promote wrongdoing,” Piff and his colleagues wrote yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The “upper class,” as defined by the study, were more likely to break the law while driving, take candy from children, lie in negotiation, cheat to raise their odds of winning a prize and endorse unethical behavior at work, the research found. The solution, Piff said, is to find a way to increase empathy among wealthier people.
“It’s not that the rich are innately bad, but as you rise in the ranks -- whether as a person or a nonhuman primate -- you become more self-focused,” Piff said.