Skip to comments.Wealthy, motivated by greed, are more likely to cheat, study finds
Posted on 02/28/2012 8:19:04 PM PST by thecodont
The rich really are different from the rest of us, scientists have found they are more apt to commit unethical acts because they are more motivated by greed.
People driving expensive cars were more likely than other motorists to cut off drivers and pedestrians at a four-way-stop intersection in the San Francisco Bay Area, UC Berkeley researchers observed. Those findings led to a series of experiments that revealed that people of higher socioeconomic status were also more likely to cheat to win a prize, take candy from children and say they would pocket extra change handed to them in error rather than give it back.
Because rich people have more financial resources, they're less dependent on social bonds for survival, the Berkeley researchers reported Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As a result, their self-interest reigns and they have fewer qualms about breaking the rules.
"If you occupy a more insular world, you're less likely to be sensitive to the needs of others," said study lead author Paul Piff, who is studying for a doctorate in psychology.
But before those in the so-called 99% start feeling ethically superior, consider this: Piff and his colleagues also discovered that anyone's ethical standards could be prone to slip if they suddenly won the lottery and joined the top 1%.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Someone debunked the tip con.
Guess it’s a new lie every day.
Will liberal/progs will be all for that, right????? After all, hedonism is “all the rage” these days. Whatever makes you feel good?
We definitely have way too many “scientists” in this country if this is all they can find to do with their time.
UC Berkley, you say. Then we can be comfortable there is no chance of even the smallish degree of bias. It must be an election year with a rich jerk running against a commie for something or another.
I only seem to see your average leftist broke loser doing the greed/cheat thing.
For whatever reason, Rat affiliation is over-represented among the super rich (as well as the super poor). Might or might not mean anything.
Especially in Los Angeles. Celebrity types, agents, etc. are mostly Rats and self important and entitled as they come.
It assumes the wealthy don't have a social network and the poor do. WRONG. The wealthy (who have earned their wealth) more often than not, got that way by NETWORKING.
It also assumes (one of the good comments following the article) that wealthy people drive high-end cars and poor people do not. WRONG. Obviously the "researchers" didn't read the excellent The Millionaire Next Door and thereby understand that "old money gets that way by not being spent."
The researchers are trying to make a point in an election year.
There are lies, damned lies, and the LA Times.
“UC Berkeley researchers observed”
Wow, a liberal, anti-capitalist school which observed that rich people are baaaaaddddd...
Did this study take 5 seconds?
I was going to mention that at least in the earlier edition of the book, the most popular vehicle purchased by millionaires is the Ford F-Series pickup truck. I don't think there is an awful lot you can conclude with any degree of certainty by the cars people drive.
I rather doubt these results have much validity. Judging from things I’ve seen tax-wise, there’s plenty o cheatin’ going on at the 99% level.
How many armed bank robberies and convenience store hold ups were done by rich people?
Of course, these ‘researchers’ only studied the attitudes of rich bay area liberals compared to poor bay area liberals; make of the ‘results’ whatever you will.
With lifetime paid tenure and bennies, preaching hatred toward this who provide their substance.
We are back to ‘70’s activist science again. It’s usually limited to the soft “sciences.” This is sociology or psychology... Get ready for it. They will make all the Left’s enemies (normal, happy people) into mentally ill demons.
It’s weird what passes for a “scientist” these days.
I have to say that I know people like that but most of them aren’t rich.
I would say that some of those personality traits can help make you rich because you don’t care about anyone but yourself and it doesn’t feel bad to take advantage of others misfortunes.
I guess the prison echelon is all nice and sweet and that’s why they’re in prison.
I have a net worth over a million and I drive a 2002 Rodeo that I bought 4 years ago for 3800 bucks, I love it. I have better things to do with my money than trying to impress people with the car I drive.
Jon Corzine, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore. Maybe they’re on to something.
I think America’s super rich are out of touch with mere mortals. But I know poor people who are totally out of touch with honesty and goodness, too.
I don’t think sin is limited by class. It follows anyone who has no class.
We need to make a demonstration of high character matter in hiring for upper echelon positions again. We need to make it seriously wrong to be a oaf in power. We can begin with treason trials for any one in power who betrays our Nation and constitution.
Yes, yes, yes, the druggie, on welfare, living beside my sister in law is only breathing because he is not worth a 22 bullet.
I think the issue of money, net worth, discretionary spending power, and the purchasing decisions one makes, are a rather fluid concept that has nuances that can be VERY dissimilar depending on several factors. Factors such as location, source of the wealth (did you earn it or simply blessed by being born in the 'right family,' and even if you earned it did you earn it through years of hard work and frugal saving or simply by being in an industry where one year's bonus made you rich), personal outlook on life, etc. Many factors. By profession I am in the Private Equity industry, before that was in institutional fund management/wealth management, and in both cases looking after emerging and frontier markets. Why is that important? Because I have been exposed to rather wealthy (all the way to sheer opulence) people, and from different regions. I have also been in an industry that pays well (my first ever bonus was 300K gross, which wasn't bad for an early 20s African kid working in the banking industry during the mortgage bubble), and in PE the pay is far crazier.
What have I noted? First of all in the emerging/frontier markets, particular the top level emerging markets like China (I was in Beijing early last year) and Brazil (Sao Paulo last week) is that there is quite a bit of 'showing off.' A fair bit. Same thing among the wealthy in Africa, where I am based. However it is China that is boggling ...even lower level luxury cars like Audis and BMWs have huge sales in that Market (especially Audis), and there is a very clear hierarchy that starts at the Buick level (sales in China kept that vehicle alive) all the way to more exotic fare.
Another interesting thing is how the money is made. It is VERY possible to become a millionaire by prudent living, saving and investing. There are many rich people who got that way without ridiculous paychecks. Such people will be less willing to waste 100K on something as silly as a car. However, if you are working at, say, some VC firm, get some carry of say 500K for just one year on top of a salary of 200K, and you are 29, there is a good chance that at least 30% of that money will be spent on some frivolous thing. Guaranteed. Before the bubble burst some even spent it on, erm, 'trophy girlfriends' to put it mildly. Even worse are the scions of rich families, especially the noveuriche. There was an interesting story in the economist some years back about the lifespan of businesses. Basically the father creates a company that does well, his son (who was raised in a good solid manner) takes over when time comes and makes it even larger and more prosperous, and the HiS son takes over and it gets to a plateau stage ....most businesses evaluated never survives 3 generations. By the third all the hard work of the patriarch and the hard lessons of the second generation had all been lost. Scions of wealthy families are far more likely to spend money on exotic fare than most PE people I know, even in Dubai or Johannesburg.
I would say that both location and the way one made the money, especially the way one made their money, are important factors to how one spends it. In most, but obviously not all, cases. Those who built their millions through hard work and dedicated focus will have a level of fiscal prudence greater than those who simply have a good base salary and sweet bonuses. Their investment portfolios will also have far different asset allocations, with the 'hard work wealth' being more logical (and defensive). I have actually seen teachers with nest eggs that are better than the typical high level investment banker (which can be a disadvantage to the banker type should the job go, which was disastrous to some when the bubble burst). Also age is a factor, with a single guy having liquid assets far more likely to spend a certain way than a family person thinking about retirement and family.
The biggest problem I see is that a) it is research from Berkeley and b) they studied the Bay area which has notoriously liberal rich folks (it is after all the home of Pelosi and Boxer and Newsome and Brown). the sense of entitlement amongst these kinds of people is legendary
But I'm sure the money to pay for those things was obtained "ethically", without cheating or robbing or stealing or selling drugs, etc.
Actually in my experience I have found the wealthy to be very generous, honest, forthright people. If one considered drive and the desire to make money greed then yes, I guess since I am driven and enjoy making money I could be considered by a commie as greedy. That last point is a compliment.
This is true for me. :) Another reason /i think some people resent and feel different than the wealthy. Wealthy people I know are very respectful and polite to all people. If you don't do that that people without money hate you. Yet those same people that aren't wealthy often group in their own income bracket and judge the rest harshly. Go figure.
As a result, their self-interest reigns and they have fewer qualms about breaking the rules.
I think the latter has to do with they are more conscious of the ticket price and time to take off work. That would explain that. Tickets cost money and sometimes time. Both of which people with less money do not have much of. (If they are working)
oh and the wealthy can always easily fall back on lawyers. Do the wealthy live in another world yes. Can everyone tell who is wealthy and who is not. No.
Yes. So true. This third and second generation (or more) is where the liberalism seems to come in in spades as well. A lot of these kids never had to really work for money and become liberalism financial generators. Great experience and insights. Thanks for sharing.
Ditto. 2003 Subaru.
I agree, I’m in the worked my arse off for 40 years category. We started at 18 with nothing and have had that same nothing many times but we toughed it out while others quit and got safe jobs.
I have absolutely no personal debt and I intend to keep it that way.