Constroverse and prejudice around rich people have always existed.
A recent study by the University of California, Berkeley says that rich people are more likely to break the law, to steal candy from children, to lie in a negotiation or to have an unethical behavior at work just to achive their goal, compared to people who have low incomes.
Rich people more likely to lie and cheat
Volunteers who participated at the study reported their social class using MacArthur Scale of Subjective Socioeconomic Status and revealed their attitude about greed and behavior.
In the first part of the research, scientifics have asked 129 student to imagine being poor or rich. After that, they brought a jar with candies. The students have been told that the candies are for children in another room, but they are allowed to take one too. The results showed that those who imagined being rich were more willing to take more candy than those who imagined living in a low income.
In a second phase of the study, participants were asked to play a computer game in which those who obtained more than 12 points received 50$. The participants who have earned more than 250.000$ were more willing to lie researchers, compared to others.
Another thing that draw attention it was the fact that drivers from the upper-class are four times as likely to cut off oher vehicles at a busy intersection and three times more likely to cut off a pedestrian waiting to cross the road on a crosswalk.
In another test, the 108 participants have received the role of employers. They were divided in two groups, one group had to imagine themselves as rich people and another group with imaginative poor people roles. The results showed that those with higher incomes are much less to indicate that the vacant position they offer is temporary, compared to those with low income.
“The increased unethical tendencies of upper-class individuals are driven, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed” said Paul Piff, a doctoral student in psychology at UC Berkeley and lead author of the paper, in a statement.
“These findings have very clear implications for how increased wealth and status in society shapes patterns of ethical behavior, and suggest that the different social values among the haves and the have-nots help drive these tendencies” Piff said.