Rich and Co.

Wealth May Reduce Empathy

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Rich Slower To Show Empathy 

“It’s not that the upper classes are coldhearted.  They may just not be as adept at recognizing the cues and signals of suffering because they haven’t had to deal with as many obstacles in their lives.”

  • Individuals in the upper-middle and upper classes are less able to detect and respond to the distress signals of others
  • Overall, the results indicate that socioeconomic status correlates with the level of empathy and compassion that people show in the face of emotionally charged situations.

  • The findings challenge previous studies that have characterized lower-class people as being more prone to anxiety and hostility in the face of adversity
  • These latest results indicate that there’s a culture of compassion and cooperation among lower-class individuals that may be born out of threats to their well-being,”
  • the findings suggest that people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds may thrive better in cooperative settings than their upper-class counterparts.

“Upper-class individuals appear to be more self-focused, they’ve grown up with more freedom and autonomy.  They may do better in an individualist, competitive environment.”

“One might assume that watching someone suffering would cause stress and raise the heart rate.  But we have found that, during compassion, the heart rate lowers as if the body is calming itself to take care of another person.”

“Recognizing suffering is the first step to responding compassionately.  The results suggest that it’s not that upper classes don’t care, it’s that they just aren’t as good at perceiving stress or anxiety.”


Written by Rich and Co.

December 26, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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