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Rich people are less likely to be honest, says study

Cheating, lying, bending the rules and even taking lollies from children: a new survey says that wealthy people are more likely to be dishonest.

  • United States
  • February 29, 2012
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People from wealthy backgrounds are more likely than poorer people to break laws while driving, take lollies from children, and lie for financial gain, a United States study says.

The seven-part study by psychologists at the University of California Berkeley and the University of Toronto analysed people's behaviour through a series of experiments.

For instance, drivers of expensive vehicles were observed to be more likely to break the rules at four-way intersections, and were more likely to cut off pedestrians trying to cross the street than drivers of cheaper cars.

In another test using a game of dice, given the opportunity to win a prize, people who self-reported high socio-economic status were more likely than the rest to lie and say that they had rolled higher numbers than they actually had.

"Even in people for whom $50 is a relatively small amount of money, cheating was three times as high," said lead author Paul Piff of UC Berkeley.

"It really shows the extreme lengths to which wealth and upper-rank status in society can shape patterns of self-interest and unethicality."

People with higher status were also less likely to tell the truth in a hypothetical job negotiation in which they were the employer trying to hire someone for a job they knew was soon to be eliminated.

Full Story: Rich people more likely to take lollies from children: study

Source: ABC News
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