"It's not that the upper classes are coldhearted," Jennifer Stellar, a social psychologist at University of California, Berkeley said in the study's press release last fall. "They may just not be as adept at recognizing the cues and signals of suffering because they haven’t had to deal with as many obstacles in their lives.
But that still doesn't really explain other experiments in which the upper class displayed a propensity for entitled behavior, like breaking driving laws and cheating . In another study, Paul Piff, a psychologist who studies how money affects behavior, also at the UC Berkeley, showed that drivers of high-end, luxury cars were more likely to cut off other vehicles and even pedestrians trying to cross a sidewalk.
"The rich are more likely to prioritize their own self-interests above the interests of other people," Piff told New York magazine. "It makes them more likely to exhibit characteristic that we would stereotypically associate, with, say, a****les."
Of course, not all rich people are jerks. And some critics of this emerging field say that the studies are motivated by left-leaning ideologies. In fact, some the richest people in the country--such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates--have been the biggest benefactors to charities and foundations that accomplish key humanitarian works.Page 2 of 3 | Prev Page | Next Page