A Daily news digest by Jasper van Santen

Are Rich People More Ethical? – The Atlantic

In Nonsense on March 25, 2012 at 08:50

Are Rich People More Ethical?  It turns out…. NOT AT ALL!! Although it could be that the poorer participants in the study  were more likely to lie. 

Who is more trustworthy, a rich person or a poor one? According to a new study, poor people are more likely to act ethically than the wealthy. The difference in ethical behavior may be about opportunity rather than moral fiber, however.

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Toronto looked at the ethical tendencies of more than 1,000 volunteers from various socioeconomic backgrounds. The volunteers filled out surveys and also took part in seven experiments testing their willingness to act unethically. Those with an upper-class background were more likely to break the rules and the law.

The first two experiments tested people’s willingness to break the law while behind the wheel. Upper-class motorists were three times more willing to cut pedestrians off at an intersection and four times more likely to cut off other vehicles at a busy four-way intersection.

Whose road? My road.

The third experiment presented volunteers with several hypothetical cases of unethical decision-making and asked how often they had acted similarly in their lives. Once again, upper-class volunteers were the most likely to report having done so.


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