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Sat Dec 24, 2011, 01:15 AM

Study shows the rich do not respond to the distress signals of others


http://www.futurity.org/top-stories/bah-humbug-rich-slower-to-show-empathy/

A study published in the journal Emotion finds that individuals in the upper-middle and upper classes are less able to detect and respond to the distress signals of others. Overall, the results indicate that socioeconomic status correlates with the level of empathy and compassion that people show in the face of emotionally charged situations.

“It’s not that the upper classes are coldhearted,” says lead author Jennifer Stellar, a social psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley. “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.”

(the rest of the article is at the link above)

28 replies, 2735 views

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Reply Study shows the rich do not respond to the distress signals of others (Original post)
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 OP
csziggy Dec 2011 #1
DesertFlower Dec 2011 #8
csziggy Dec 2011 #11
DesertFlower Dec 2011 #12
chrisa Dec 2011 #28
cthulu2016 Dec 2011 #2
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #21
AdHocSolver Dec 2011 #3
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #22
Sedona Dec 2011 #4
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #20
pansypoo53219 Dec 2011 #5
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #17
WCGreen Dec 2011 #6
DesertFlower Dec 2011 #9
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #15
Kalidurga Dec 2011 #7
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #14
LiberalAndProud Dec 2011 #10
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #13
Curmudgeoness Dec 2011 #18
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #24
Bigmack Dec 2011 #16
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #25
Initech Dec 2011 #19
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #27
sakabatou Dec 2011 #23
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #26

Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 01:20 AM

1. That fits with the study that Botox users are less empathetic!

I don't have the link since it was at least six months ago I saw it, but there was a study that showed people who had Botox treatments, especially to the face, were less able to respond to other people's problems. One theory why was that when you sympathize with people, you mirror their expressions. If your facial muscles are paralyzed with Botox, you cannot do that mirroring that may trigger the sympathetic reaction.

Since some people are taught to not show expression, that could also reduce their ability to empathize with others.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 04:35 AM

8. i've been using botox for years

and i'm extremely empathetic. i only use it in my forehead and around the crows feet.

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Response to DesertFlower (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 02:35 PM

11. I would bet that you were empathetic before you began useing Botox

With people that use it from an early age and that were not already empathetic, I imagine that it can impair learning to be empathetic.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 04:16 PM

12. it has nothing to do with your feelings.

what botox does is paralyze the muscles so you can't frown -- thus you don't have an angry look.

i've always been empathetic.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 11:55 PM

28. Botox is a toxin produced by bacteria, I believe.

It is called an "alpha toxin" or something like that, and what is does is prevent muscles from working properly (the receptors on the muscle are prevented from 'firing,' making it so the muscle can't move anymore). Someone will correct me on this.

It doesn't effect anything neurological. It only affects the face muscles of the area is it inserted.

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 01:38 AM

2. “It’s not that the upper classes are coldhearted...”

Or maybe they are. This needs to be combined with that other study from a few months ago that found that the rich are less generous and don't give a damn about the problems of others.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:21 PM

21. So true. So studies show they're less generous and less empathetic...

Is there any reason to see the rich in a positive light? I don't see any reason at all.

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 02:14 AM

3. Study shows lions do not respond to distress signals of elands and zebras.

A majority of the wealthy, like most predators, do not feel sympathy toward their prey.

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Response to AdHocSolver (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:22 PM

22. Excellent point! nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 02:15 AM

4. this is the definition of cold hearted

“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.”

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Response to Sedona (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:20 PM

20. It's an elegant way of saying, "they don't care a rat's ass." nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 02:23 AM

5. or they don't fucking care.

nt

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Response to pansypoo53219 (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:08 PM

17. Apparently not. nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 02:52 AM

6. Well, that explains my sister buying a Porshe SUV for what ever god know what price while I drive

around town in a rusted old van that my BIL's ex wife gave me for free....

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 04:39 AM

9. my husband drives a porsche. he's 64 years

old and worked his entire life -- still works at age 64.

he didn't go into debt to buy it and it hasn't effected our charitable contributions or how we feel about those less fortunate.

and no we're not part of the 1 percent.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 08:49 PM

15. How do you deal with her? And why is she driving that? nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 03:17 AM

7. I guess that is why a payroll tax cut for workers is bad...

but reducing taxes on money that makes money is good...

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 08:49 PM

14. Yep! nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 05:33 AM

10. They may just view those less fortunate as "the other".

We are not like them. They simply cannot relate. I wonder what a study toward measuring empathetic reactions to others from their own class might look like in comparison.

I'll go read the link now. Perhaps it will change my mind about the root causes of the obvious lack of empathy.

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 08:48 PM

13. I'll bet the rich have more empathy for others of their own kind.

I'm curious if the study will change your mind about the causes of this empathy.

I personally think it's a series of things:

(1) Discrimination against the poor. Conservatives and right wingers tend to despise the poor, because they hold firmly to a myth that those who are poor are slothful. They spend their lives promoting the myth that the poor are somehow evil.

(2) There are certain Protestant religions in the U.S. that believe the poor are poor because they deserve to be for their sins.

(3) The wealthy who would customarily feel guilt for their ostentatiousness rid themselves of the guilt by imagining that they, somehow, are deserving, while the poor are not.

(4) The wealthy who inherited, obtained their wealth through corrupt means, or have almost outright stolen it, justify their having wealth by making someone else 'the bad guy:' in this case, the poor becomes the object of their abhorrence.

Just my opinion.

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:11 PM

18. I think that they are just cold-hearted, not

just because they are not like them. I am not like a cat or dog, they really are "the others", but if they are hurting, I am hurting.

I don't buy it that they just cannot relate----they just choose not to.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #18)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:23 PM

24. They choose not to, and that might show up in studies, maybe? nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:00 PM

16. That's because there is a high percentage of sociopaths among them....

AynRandian sociopaths.

"Individuals with this disorder have little regard for the
feeling and welfare of others."

Many of the rich are simply high-functioning sociopaths.

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Response to Bigmack (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:23 PM

25. That's basically what I think. nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:12 PM

19. They needed a study for this??

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Response to Initech (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:24 PM

27. I guess it brings the point home. nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:22 PM

23. This just in: water is wet

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Response to sakabatou (Reply #23)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 09:24 PM

26. yup! I know. nt

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