The individuals of upper class are more prone to unethical behaviour

Source: UC Berkeley News Center. By Yasmin Anwar((It has been reprinted a part of the original text of the news. Translation: Rubén Crespo))


An investigation of the University of California, Berkeley, demonstrates that the individuals of high-class have a greater propensity for unethical behavior, being more likely to believe -as Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street“ambition is good”.

Greed, for lack of a better word, is good; it is necessary and it works. Greed clarifies and captures the essence of the spirit of evolution. Greed in all its forms: the greed of living, of knowing, of love, of money; it is what has marked the life of humanity.

Speech by the character Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street (1987)


Los individuos de clase alta son más proclives al comportamiento antiético

The research argues that the unethical behaviour is motivated by attitudes related to the ambition. In seven separate studies conducted on the campus of the University of california, Berkeley, in the San Francisco Bay area and across the country, researchers at UC Berkeley have shown that participants of high class were more likely to cheat in gambling or trading, and to adopt the unethical behavior in the workplace.

Paul Piff, a doctoral candidate in Psychology at the University of california at Berkeley and senior author of the article prublicado in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (27/02/2012), says that the increase of the behaviors are unethical in people of high class must be, in part, to their favorable attitudes toward ambition. Piff belongs to a generation of academic of UC Berkeley, who has been investigating and shedding new data on the relationship between socio-economic class and the behaviors pro-social and anti-social.

According to Piff, the latest research has shed new light on the role of inequality in shaping patterns of ethical conduct and selfish behavior, as it has discovered some ways in which these patterns of selfish behavior could be corrected.

To investigate the relationships of social class with the ethical conduct, the researchers studied the behavior of more than 1000 people of low class, medium, and high. The categorization of the social class of the volunteers of the sample was based on the Scale of MacArthur (socio-economic status subjective). The volunteers completed a series of questionnaires about their behaviors in function of their values and ambitions. Participated, also, in various tests designed by the researchers to measure their ethical performance real.

Among the various studies that the researchers conducted (for more information: here), some were dedicated to the behavior on the driving road. Motorists of high class were four times more likely than the rest to not respect the priority of other vehicles at intersections four-way, and three times more likely to ignore the preference of a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

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