A recent series of studies shows that the wealthy are twice as three to four times more likely to blow a stop sign, four times as likely to cheat at dice, and twice as likely to actually steal candy from children. But more significantly, this research shows that money itself is the actual corrupting influence.
(Photo Credit: Mike Fleming/Flickr)
Paul Piff, a social psychologist at UC Berkeley, ran 30 studies on thousands of Americans across the country. His findings were clear: wealthy participants were more likely to cheat, steal, and otherwise bend the law than poorer subjects, even in cases where “wealth” was only temporarily assigned, as in a coin toss in Monopoly.
“Your first reaction might be like my own. Of course the wealthy broke the rules and played aggressively — that’s how and why they became wealthy! Those are, in essence, skills that have manifested in success. And no doubt, some of the most innovative companies in the world (including basically every .com to date) shoot first and ask questions later,” writes Mark Wilson at Fast Company. “But Piff’s most interesting study shows money’s power to corrupt.”
In the example above — the Monopoly game, in which the bank doled out more cash to one player than another — Piff found that not only did the richer players always win, they felt that they deserved credit for winning, despite the fact that their circumstances were more favorable from the start.
None of this, of course, should dissuade you from asking for a raise. But if you’re so fortunate as to win the lottery someday, remember that it could be hazardous to your character.
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