Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rich People Are More Inclined to Act Unethically

A scientific study being published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science correlates wealth with unethical conduct.  According to an ABC news report:

"We found that it is much more prevalent for people in the higher ranks of society to see greed and self-interest … as  good pursuits," said Paul Piff, lead author of the study.

An article in a scientific publication describes some of the methodology:

In their first two experiments, they monitored traffic at a four-way intersection in San Francisco, noting the makes and models of automobiles — a reliable indicator of socioeconomic status, or SES — and whether their drivers cut off other vehicles or pedestrians. Rude behavior rose with status, and high-SES drivers were roughly twice as inconsiderate as low-SES drivers

I'm not sure if that means the wealthier folks were more unethical or more pissed-off.  How do we know that if wasn't chauffers, corporate employees or carjackers that were driving those cars?  In any event, it is food for thought.

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