Here is an article which
suggests the richer you are, the less empathy you have.
From my travels and personal experience, I'd tend to
agree. - SH
from different economic classes have
fundamentally different ways of thinking about
the world, according to research recently
published in Current Directions in Psychological
The authors of the study said the findings have
important, but overlooked, implications for
Americans, although this is shifting a bit,
kind of think class is irrelevant, said
Dacher Keltner of the University of
California-Berkeley, who cowrote the article with
Michael W. Kraus of UC-San Francisco and Paul K.
Piff of UC-Berkeley.
I think our studies are saying the
opposite: This is a profound part of who we
A study published in Psychological Science in
November, for instance, found that people of
upper-class status have trouble recognizing the
emotions other people are feeling. People of
lower-class status do a much better job.
What I think is really interesting about
that is, it kind of shows theres all this
strength to the lower class identity: greater
empathy, more altruism, and finer attunement to
other people, Keltner said.
One clear policy implication is, the idea
of nobless oblige or trickle-down economics,
certain versions of it, is bull, Keltner
added. Our data say you cannot rely on the
wealthy to give back. The thousand points
of lightthis rise of compassion in
the wealthy to fix all the problems of
Those in the upper-class tend to hoard resources
and be less generous than they could be.
But the differences between people of upper and
lower-classes seems to be the product of the
cultural environment, not ingrained traits.
Studies have found that as people rise in the
classes, they become less empathetic.
Keltner speculates that people of lower-classes
are more empathetic because they need to rely on
others more often to be successful. Those who
cant afford daycare service for their
children, for example, turn to neighbors or
relatives to watch the kids.
If you dont have resources and
education, you really adapt to the environment,
which is more threatening, by turning to other
people, he explained. People who grow
up in lower-class neighborhoods, as I did, will
say, Theres always someone there who
will take you somewhere, or watch your kid.
Youve just got to lean on
Core Components of EQI.org
Respect | Empathy
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