Time to pity rich people! At least us poors have that capacity, whereas a new study says that the rich are less compassionate than the rest of us. Let’s all pause and feel bad for them for exactly one second.
Time.com cites a study from the University of California, Berkeley that says the richer you are, the less compassionate you are. The study was published in a journal called Emotion, where psychologists researched the empathic capacities of a group of 300 college students. The group was picked for maximum economic diversity — based on their parents’ incomes, since being poor in college is like being a fish with gills.
Part of the experiment included subjects reporting how often they’re like, “I often notice people who need help,” among other assessments designed to catalog how and when subjects felt certain emotions.
When the numbers on these inventories were crunched, Stellar and her colleagues found no meaningful personality differences among the students that could be attributable to income except one: across the board, the lower the subjects’ family income, the higher their score on compassion.
Even after the extensive experiments, does a low score on a compassion scale really mean rich people are unfeeling robots who take baths in money? Maybe not, they just might not have experience observing and reacting to hardship in others, which explains the phenomenon of rich kids joining up with the Peace Corps and other institutions to get a taste of the real world.