(R)ich people are more likely to think about themselves. “They think that economic success and political outcomes, and personal outcomes, have to do with individual behavior, a good work ethic,” said Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Because the rich gloss over the ways family connections, money and education helped, they come to denigrate the role of government and vigorously oppose taxes to fund it.

“I will quote from the Tea Party hero Ayn Rand: “‘It is the morality of altruism that men have to reject,’” he said.  (source)

Are rich people heartless because they are rich or does being rich make them heartless. What do YOU think?

Tags: heartlessness, wealth

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No actually, you cannot make that assumption.
I sit firmly in the middle, have been with both rich and poor, from one extreme to the other, back to the middle again.

Can money mean you get away with more? Yes of course. But that is all. Just like virtually every human has the ability to kill another human under a certain certain of circumstances, so a person can be right or wrong, cruel or kind. Using a cultural bias such as wealth really proves nothing.

Have I found the stupidly rich to be worse people than the stupidly poor? No, not really, if anything the worst rich people I have met are the ones that come from the ranks of the poor.

I have been involved with situations where a rich woman plucked a baby from a bushfire with no thought to her own safety, while the poor mother was hiding in a safe place crying for her baby and not willing to do anything about it.

A person's wealth has no relationship to the biochemistry of a person's brain, other than its health.

The article was about wealthy people and was not intended as a comparison of bad rich people vs. good poor people.

No matter what one writes and no matter how true, one can always count on someone to do the "Well, they're not ALL like that" or "I know someone (or some people) who are different from that."

Do you claim the article is wrong? That's what this thread is about, after all.

Thanks.  Something to read on my lunchbreak tomorrow.

It seems to be a literature review, so we might need to look at the studies that it is referencing.

I hadn't looked at it yet.  I though your link led to the study.  I imagine no more than abstracts will be available without purchase or subscription.

I believe that being wealthy makes one more independent, and consequently less dependent on the good will of others, and that, on average, with that, comes a general estrangement from the greater part of society, which in turn can lead to less empathy for the hardships of others.

But since the heart is merely a blood pump, without which no mammal could survive, then I suspect that no living person, rich or otherwise, is actually heartless.

It's what I do --

Actually, Mark Twain dealt with this theme a lot, in both The Prince and the Pauper and Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - the concept of a haughty, wealthy person having his financial rug yanked out from under him, being forced to live among the great unwashed, he begins seeing problems he never knew existed before, and his increased insight makes him a more humane person.

NO, wealth does not "make" one heartless. Just replace the word "wealth" with any other word and you will see how inadequate this question really is. Sorry if I sound mean about this but your question is non-sensical and leading/misleading. Does "poorly asked questions" make one heartless?  See the problem here?  It is better to ask open-ended questions and not leading questions. Notice how in the quote they use the probability words "more likely" because they probably don't have sufficient evidence/data to be more certain about their conclusions.

I'm afraid I don't follow you on the leading question aspect.


For example, I think a better question would be; how does wealth effect the empathy or lack thereof in wealthy individuals? This is a question that doesn't lead to a conclusion in and of itself. It allows an open discussion without prejudice. As far as my opinion on wealth, every individual is different and therefore boxing them all up into an easy to judge and mock group is called stereotyping. I really don't like forming my world view in this way but I certainly have to guard against my own tendency to look for the easy answer/conclusion instead of the real one.  Thanks for reading this short novel of a response. :) Have a great rational day!!

I don't see a dime's worth of difference betweeen "Does wealth make one heartless?" and "Does wealth make one non-empathetic?" Perhaps softening the question with qualifiers such as "Does wealth TEND TO make one heartless" or "Does wealth make a lot of people heartless" would be better in your mind.

Not if you share the wealth with generous donations to charities 

Ask me when I become wealthy.

I'm working at a fast food place to get me through my nuclear tech program tuition. It's in the richer part of town (gated communities, sports car owners etc.) I once encountered a guy who looked me in the eyes before placing an order and said "the only reason I'm talking to someone of your class is because I want food, otherwise wouldn't be talking to someone working minimal wage." I just said "okay, fine by me." it pissed me off though -.-... I guess in some cases it might.

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