Ducher Keltner, psychologist

“Six years ago, [Ducher] Keltner (a psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley) and a then-graduate student in his lab, Paul Piff, published influential innovative experiments that confirmed many of our worst assumptions about the rich and the corrupting power of wealth.

In one experiment, the researchers stationed themselves at a busy intersection with four-way stop signs and tracked the model of every car whose driver cut off others instead of waiting their turn. People driving expensive cars — like a brand-new Mercedes — were four times more likely to ignore right-of-way laws than those in cheap cars like an old beat-up Honda.

“It told us that there’s something about wealth and privilege that makes you feel like you’re above the law, that allows you to treat others like they don’t exist,” Keltner said.

William Wan, journalist

Next, they had a researcher play a pedestrian trying to cross at a crosswalk and tracked which cars stopped as the law requires and which blew right past him. The results were even more stark.

Every one of the cheapest cars stopped, while half of the expensive cars ignored the pedestrian in the crosswalk — many even after making eye contact.”

source: William Wan, journalist; Are rich people more likely to lie, cheat, steal? Science explains the world of Manafort and Gates.

Ducher Keltner, psychologist


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