Study: Money Makes People Act Less Human

#Money

Fri, Jul 6th, 2012 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

Lisa Miller of the New York Magazine cites a study by the University of California, Berkeley, which indicates that the more money a person has, the less humane they will act.

Earlier this year, [Paul Piff, the psychologist who designed the experiment], who is 30, published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that made him semi-famous. Titled "Higher Social Class Predicts Increased Unethical Behavior," it showed through quizzes, online games, questionnaires, in-lab manipulations, and field studies that living high on the socioeconomic ladder can, colloquially speaking, dehumanize people. It can make them less ethical, more selfish, more insular, and less compassionate than other people. It can make them more likely, as Piff demonstrated in one of his experiments, to take candy from a bowl of sweets designated for children. "While having money doesn't necessarily make anybody anything," Piff says, "the rich are way more likely to prioritize their own self-interests above the interests of other people. It makes them more likely to exhibit characteristics that we would stereotypically associate with, say, assholes."

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