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Thu Jul 18, 2013, 11:56 PM

UC Berkeley study finds upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals

Published on Jun 21, 2013

In a series of startling studies, psychologists at the University of California at Berkeley have found that "upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals." Ongoing research is trying to find out what it is about wealth or lack of it that makes people behave they way they do. Paul Solman reports as part of his Making Sen$e series, more of which you can check out here: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/makingsense/ and here: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/businessdesk/2013/06/why-those-who-feel-they-have-less-give-more.html




Video and an excerpted transcript of his extended interview with University of California, Berkeley, psychologist Dacher Keltner follows at this link below:

Why Those Who Feel They Have Less Give More

What is it that wealth does to people? On Thursday's Making Sen$e segment, Paul Solman traveled to the University of California, Berkeley, to examine the connection between wealth and happiness. His report on the psychology of wealth, which appears above and is slated to air on PBS NewsHour Friday, shows that people who feel less well-off, whether in real terms or in simulated settings, tend to act more charitably. An excerpted transcript of his extended interview with University of California, Berkeley, psychologist Dacher Keltner follows. Dacher is the founding faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center at Berkeley.

~snip~
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/businessdesk/2013/06/why-those-who-feel-they-have-less-give-more.html

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Reply UC Berkeley study finds upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals (Original post)
Emit Jul 2013 OP
NYC_SKP Jul 2013 #1
leftstreet Jul 2013 #2
JoeyT Jul 2013 #5
leftstreet Jul 2013 #13
Le Taz Hot Jul 2013 #9
TalkingDog Jul 2013 #11
leftstreet Jul 2013 #14
TalkingDog Jul 2013 #16
leftstreet Jul 2013 #17
LiberalAndProud Jul 2013 #3
matthews Jul 2013 #4
LeftishBrit Jul 2013 #6
KG Jul 2013 #7
Skidmore Jul 2013 #8
bemildred Jul 2013 #10
FarCenter Jul 2013 #12
datasuspect Jul 2013 #15

Response to Emit (Original post)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 12:02 AM

1. I believe it!

 

K/R

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Response to Emit (Original post)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 12:09 AM

2. That study makes no sense

There's no evidence that 'lower class' people are motivated to charity from superior ethics. They're just as likely to give to the less fortunate in order to reinforce a belief that they're...not less fortunate. Wealthy people wouldn't need to do that.

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 04:58 AM

5. Or it could just be

that people that don't believe in helping others whatsoever are the most likely to rise to the top.

Viewing every turned back as a target for a knife does tend to help people climb the ladder.

Edited to add: By which I mean they could have the correlation backwards. It isn't more money that makes you a jerk, but being a jerk makes you more likely to have more money.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 10:28 AM

13. Maybe. But most wealth is inherited

Most 'rise to the top' in the delivery room

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 05:51 AM

9. That seems to me to be a very cynical viewpoint.

Being one who has been poor a good part of my life and have lived around the poor a good part of my life, I have a completely different perspective. Poor people have more empathy for those who are doing without as they themselves have done without. When they see an opportunity to help someone in need, being that it's rare that they can help someone, they're more than happy to be able to alleviate suffering and want when/where they can. I know. I've seen it. I've lived it.

The wealthy don't see poor people -- they look past them and rarely get involved then make excuses for their lack of charity. Poor people are more prone to share whatever little resources they have just because they know and have lived want.

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 09:12 AM

11. I'd rather posit that it was empathy rather than a need to feel superior.

In either case, (your argument or mine) the wealthier person has no reason to give, because that condition does not apply to them.

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #11)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 10:31 AM

14. Not sure it would be a need to feel superior

so much as a need to feel secure

But like I said, the study is weird

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #14)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 10:58 AM

16. I merely rephrased your assertion.

They're just as likely to give to the less fortunate in order to reinforce a belief that they're...not less fortunate

If you are not in a less fortunate position, you are in a more fortunate position. That is a superior position. The feeling of being in a superior situation does not have to include gloating. It may. But it does not have to.

We are using the terms differently.

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #16)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 11:02 AM

17. Ah I see

Got ya

Well the study is bizarre in any case

I don't see where 'ethics' are involved but perhaps the author needed a different term

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Response to Emit (Original post)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 12:15 AM

3. There's Class and then there is class.

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Response to Emit (Original post)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 12:49 AM

4. People with great wealth feel 'entitled'. They take everyday niceties that make the planet

 

a semi-civilized place to live for granted. As if life were a long line and your place in it is determined by a dollar ($) sign and a long stream of numbers.

Not all. But most.

And Honore de Balzac said:

"The secret of a great success for which you are at a loss to account
is a crime that has never been found out, because it was properly
executed."

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Response to Emit (Original post)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 05:01 AM

6. Or perhaps the unethical are more likely to get rich?

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Response to Emit (Original post)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 05:14 AM

7. my own anecdotal experience bears this out. esp the nouveau riche. they view the rest of the

world as threats to their wealth. it's sad and disgusting.

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Response to Emit (Original post)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 05:25 AM

8. Perhaps people who write the rules don't think

that the rules apply to them but are meant for others. Those rulez designed to facilitate the flow of capital upward are a good example.

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Response to Emit (Original post)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 06:10 AM

10. Startling to the rich perhaps. It won't startle the poor all that much. nt

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Response to Emit (Original post)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 09:30 AM

12. The piece at the link says that poor people are more charitable than wealthy people

 

Poor people are more generous and compassionate.

It doesn't really address whether the poor are more ethical than wealthy people. Charity is only one aspect of ethics.

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Response to Emit (Original post)

Fri Jul 19, 2013, 10:47 AM

15. some of the most HORRIBLE people i know are wealthy people

 

some of the best, most giving, most loving people i've ever met don't have a pot to piss in.

but they'd give you the shirt off their back,

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