[News] Science says: Rich people are better at being assholes then you

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#1
http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20120227/study-says-rich-more-likely-to-lie-120227/


A new study says rich people are more likely to engage in unethical behaviour than their poorer counterparts -- like cutting off motorists, lying in a negotiation and cheating to win a prize.

That's the finding from researchers at the University of California and the University of Toronto, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

In two tests, researchers found that upper-class drivers were more likely to cut off other cars and pedestrians at crosswalks. The researchers used age, vehicle make and appearance to assess drivers' social class.

In another series of tests involving undergraduate students and adults, researchers found that those who considered themselves "upper class" were more likely to take valued items from others -- including candy, even after they were told that whatever was left over would be given to children.

Others exhibited a greater willingness to lie during negotiations and cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize.

The authors of the study said the differences in ethical behavior can be explained, at least in part, by the upper-class participants' more favourable attitude toward greed.

"This doesn't mean that every rich person will behave less ethically than any less-rich person... But we found a tendency. So if you look across people in a variety of settings, the higher-class people tend to engage in more unethical behaviour."

The authors also pointed out that unethical behavior is not absent from lower-class individuals, as has been demonstrated by numerous studies on the relationship between the concentration of poverty and violent crime.

The findings in the tests conducted on undergraduates and adults were consistent across age, gender, ethnicity, religion and political orientation of the participants.
If you weren't so lazy you too could be more of an asshole... just try harder poor people...
 
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#2
I am unsurprised. "Screwing the other guy" has been mankind's preferred way to get ahead since Cain and Abel.
 
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#3
I'm rich*, but not particularly unethical. Of course, I've had friends tell me "you are the only rich person that I know who isn't an asshole", so I may be an exception?

*my family is rich, I'm rich by extension even if I don't own a lot of money.
 
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#7
It is like the news story from a while back about the millionaire that found a wallet in a bar, returned the wallet but took the $200 cash from it... All the poor people on the internet freaked out. "Why would someone with that type of money steal?" Because they can.
 
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#8
So, poverty causes crime, but so do rich people? Only the middle class are ethical? Or what?
 

GasBandit

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#9
Well of course rich people are better at being assholes. They're better at everything. That's why they're rich.
 
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fade

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#12
I'm rich*, but not particularly unethical. Of course, I've had friends tell me "you are the only rich person that I know who isn't an asshole", so I may be an exception?

*my family is rich, I'm rich by extension even if I don't own a lot of money.
Can I borrow 5 bucks?
 

Necronic

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#15
I'm upper-middle class, but my education and job require a pompous attitude at all times.
Yeah but it also requires an insane amount of integrity. Certain types of "bending the rules" would loose you your job/career/legacy.

Also, on the note of integrity:

That's the finding from researchers at the University of California and the University of Toronto
Yeah like I'm going to trust a bunch of commie potheads to tell me stuff about the rich. NICE TRY COMRADE.
 
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#17
Now that I'm focusing on psychology, I've read enough studies and the articles that come from them to take all this with a grain of salt.

A link to the publishing journal would be a step in the right direction.
 
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#19
Yes, but that doesn't get to the article itself. The thing about experimental data is that it can be interpreted in multiple ways.

I don't have the article handy, but there was a study done about men and women and what they seek in sexual partners. The results published were that men sought physically attractive women, but women chose financially stable men.

That's the sound bite that made it to the press, however the most significant finding is that overall, men and women largely look for the same dimensions for the most part.

So, as I said, Grain of Salt.

I do like that they add the caveats towards the end of the article about philanthropy, though.
 

ElJuski

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#21
ugh, Gas, I can't believe no one called you out on this. No, they're not better all around because they're rich. They're better at making money, and whatever the hell it is that it takes. It's a shame that most jobs that actually require humans helping out other humans don't get paid as much as some cold-blooded capitalist business man.
 

GasBandit

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#22
ugh, Gas, I can't believe no one called you out on this.
It's because everybody else in the entire world realized I was being funny.

You're a very sad person, and it makes me sad that you are alive.
 
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#24
Yeah but it also requires an insane amount of integrity. Certain types of "bending the rules" would loose you your job/career/legacy.

Also, on the note of integrity:



Yeah like I'm going to trust a bunch of commie potheads to tell me stuff about the rich. NICE TRY COMRADE.
I was helping my cousin's teenage kid out with a science project once. He ending up falsifying his findings. Let's just say I was more than a little disappointed.
 
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#26
I don't have the article handy, but there was a study done about men and women and what they seek in sexual partners. The results published were that men sought physically attractive women, but women chose financially stable men.

That's the sound bite that made it to the press, however the most significant finding is that overall, men and women largely look for the same dimensions for the most part.
You do realise that the last part in no way invalidates the first one, right...

The problem is that people don't seem to understand statistics very well...

I do like that they add the caveats towards the end of the article about philanthropy, though.
I preferred the caveats about it only being a trend and not meaning any rich person is worse then a non-rich one...


Rich people are better at being assholes Assholes are better at getting rich
Seeing how they mentioned also using college students i doubt all of the rich people made themselves rich as opposed to being born into it...
Added at: 06:35
I was helping my cousin's teenage kid out with a science project once. He ending up falsifying his findings. Let's just say I was more than a little disappointed.
Jealous of his impending get-richness much?
 

Espy

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#28
Alright, alright. I volunteer to find out if I become a bigger asshole if I get rich. Everyone send me their money and we will find out. This is for science.
 
S

Soliloquy

#29
Alright, alright. I volunteer to find out if I become a bigger asshole if I get rich. Everyone send me their money and we will find out. This is for science.
A blatant money-grabbing scam by Espy?

It's working already! :aaah:
 

Necronic

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#31
Going back to the point of this article it actually bothers the hell out of me if it's true. I've always been in the "Greed is good" camp, with the incredibly important (and often overlooked) caveat that people MUST be honest. If you have a system where people are truly honest and fair in their dealings then greed will reward the best work from the best people. But if you have cheating the game changes entirely, and the wrong people start getting rewarded.

Also I think it should be a felony to cut ahead of people in traffic.
 
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#32
Here's the pdf of the PNAS article for those who are interested. PNAS is a reputable journal, its impact factor has dropped a bunch the last couple of years, but that doesn't mean the science isn't good.
 

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Espy

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#35
I'm still waiting for that money guys. Come on. I got work to do here and I need a few million to do it.
 
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