The wealthy’s compassion deficit

We know that wealth does not always make people happy, but does it make them kinder? Studies suggest exactly the opposite.


A large body of research point to a compassion deficit in the rich that plays out in big and small ways. As reported in Scientific American, for example, drivers of luxury cars cut others off at intersections at a much higher rate than those driving economy cars. Other studies have found that the wealthy are more likely to lie in negotiations and less likely to agree with statements such as “I often notice people who need help.” And during simulations in which participants could divide up candy, giving some to children and keeping some for themselves, wealthier participants consistently kept more for themselves and gave less to children.

By David Wolpe