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Rich People More Likely to Lie and Cheat: Study
CNBC.com | February 28, 2012 | 03:46 AM EST

The ethics of the rich have come under the spotlight since the credit crisis, as the behavior and ethics of the entire financial system has been criticized by politicians and the public.

Now, a study by the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that the Occupy protestors may have a point.

Upper-class people are more likely to lie, cheat, endorse unethical workplace behavior – and even to cut others off when driving, according to the study.

Volunteers who took part in the study reported their social class using the MacArthur Scale of Subjective Socioeconomic Status and filled out surveys revealing their attitudes about behavior and greed.

Drivers from the upper-class are four times as likely as other drivers to cut off other vehicles at a busy four-way intersection, and three times more likely to cut off a pedestrian waiting to cross the road on a crosswalk, the study of 1,000 individuals found.

And the chances of them agreeing with the old Gordon Gekko maxim, that “greed is good” are much higher.

The study showed that the super-rich are more likely to literally take candy from a baby. Participants were in a laboratory with a jar of candy kept for visiting children, and were offered the jar – whereupon the upper-class members took twice as many.

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