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Wealthy More Likely To Lie or Cheat: ResearchersMat 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Luk 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
1Ti_6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
Jas 2:6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
Jas 2:7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
Jas 5:1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
Jas 5:2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
Jas 5:3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
Jas 5:4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
Jas 5:5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
Jas 5:6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
Maybe, as the novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald suggested, the rich really are different. They're more likely to behave badly, according to seven experiments that weighed the ethics of hundreds of people.
The "upper class," as defined by the study, were more likely to break the law while driving, take candy from children, lie in negotiation, cheat to increase their odds of winning a prize and endorse unethical behavior at work, researchers reported today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Taken together, the experiments suggest at least some wealthier people "perceive greed as positive and beneficial," probably as a result of education, personal independence and the resources they have to deal with potentially negative consequences, the authors wrote.
While the tests measured only "minor infractions," that factor made the results, "even more surprising," said Paul Piff, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at the University of California , Berkeley, and a study author.
One experiment invited 195 adults recruited using Craigslist to play a game in which a computer "rolled dice" for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate. The numbers each participant rolled were the same; anyone self reporting a total higher than 12 was lying about their score. Those in wealthier classes were found to be more likely to fib, Piff said.
"A $50 prize is a measly sum to people who make $250,000 a year," he said. "So why are they more inclined to cheat? For a person with lower socioeconomic status, that $50 would get you more, and the risks are small."
Poorer participants may be less likely to cheat because they must rely more on their community to get by, and thus are more likely adhere to community standards, Piff suggested. By comparison, "upper-class individuals are more self-focused, they privilege themselves over others, and they engage in self- interested patterns of behavior," he said in a telephone interview.
To be sure, Piff and his colleagues also said the associations they found were likely to have exceptions, pointing to Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., who has pledged the majority of his holdings to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other charities, and the whistle-blowing of Cynthia Cooper and Sherron Watkins, former officials of Worldcom Inc. and Enron Corp (ENRNQ)., respectively.
Less wealthy individuals also can behave badly, they wrote, noting the relationship between poverty and violent crime in previous research. They urged further study to determine the "boundaries" of bad behavior spurred by greed.
The studies Piff and his colleagues completed weren't meant to measure the ties between socioeconomic status and violent crime, but rather simple bad behavior, he said.
Some of the experiments offered visual evidence, for instance determining whether people with more expensive cars observed traffic laws in the San Francisco Bay Area, yielding to cars and pedestrians at an intersection, or whether individuals took candy identified as being set aside for kids. Others polled people on what decision they might make in a given situation.
In the traffic tests, about one-third of drivers in higher- status cars cut off other drivers at an intersection watched by the researchers, about double those in less costly cars. Additionally, almost half of the more expensive cars didn't yield when a pedestrian entered the crosswalk while all of the lowest-status cars let the pedestrian cross. These experiments involved 426 vehicles.
Another test asked 108 adults found through Amazon Inc.'s (AMZN) work-recruiting website Mechanical Turk to assume the role of an employer negotiating a salary with someone seeking long-term employment. They were told several things about the job, including that it would shortly be eliminated. Upper-class individuals were more likely not to mention to the job-seeker the impermanence of the position, the research found.
Meredith McGinley, an assistant professor at Chatham University in Pittsburgh who wasn't involved in the study, was critical of how some of the experiments were designed.
The design of the car experiments complicates the picture because having a flashy car doesn't necessarily mean the driver is wealthy, said McGinley, who studies positive social behavior. In the experiment involving candy, the participants were told they could have it even though the children were waiting for it. They may have felt they were doing nothing wrong, she said.
The research indicates that valuing greed leads to unethical behavior, not necessarily that social class causes bad behavior, McGinley said, adding, "greediness seems like a much more substantial predictor than income."
The study builds on previous research that has shown wealthy people are worse at recognizing how others feel and are more likely to be disengaged during social interactions than others, the authors wrote in the paper.
That seems to be the case even in primates, said Piff, who describes his status growing up as being "relatively comfortable, middle-class." Because of his education, he's now "probably upper-middle class," he said.
"It's not that the rich are innately bad, but as you rise in the ranks -- whether as a person or a nonhuman primate -- you become more self-focused," Piff said. "You can change that by reminding upper-class people of the needs of others. That may not be their default, but have them do it is sufficient to increase their patterns of altruistic behavior."
For the love of money is the root of ALL evil...