A recent study confirms what we’ve been suspecting all along about the upper-class. The rich elite is more prone to lie, cheat and engage in other forms of “unethical behavior” than the rest of us. The authors of the study have come to the conclusion that “upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals”, much due to their lax attitudes towards greed. Here’s the abstract:
“Seven studies using experimental and naturalistic methods reveal that upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals. In studies 1 and 2, upper-class individuals were more likely to break the law while driving, relative to lower-class individuals. In follow-up laboratory studies, upper-class individuals were more likely to exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies (study 3), take valued goods from others (study 4), lie in a negotiation (study 5), cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize (study 6), and endorse unethical behavior at work (study 7) than were lower-class individuals. Mediator and moderator data demonstrated that upper-class individuals’ unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed.”
The researchers from Department of Psychology, UCLA, Berkeley, California and Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto say yes… and the answer probably will not surprise you.
Full text: Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior
And this older study from 2009, by the economic think-tank NEF, is somewhat related I believe. The study shows that cleaners are more valuable to our society than bankers.