Observers of human nature have long puzzled over the possibility of an ethical class divide. On the one hand, people with fewer resources and dimmer prospects might be expected to do whatever’s necessary to get ahead. On the other, wealthy types may be more focused on themselves, because money, independence, and freedom can insulate people from the plight of others. They may also be less generous: Studies involving money games show that upper-class subjects keep more for themselves, and U.S. surveys find that the rich give a smaller percentage of their income to charity than do the poor.
To see whether dishonesty varies with social class, psychologist Paul Piff of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues devised a series of tests, working with groups of 100 to 200 Berkeley undergraduates or adults recruited online. Subjects completed a standard gauge of their social status, placing an X on one of 10 rungs of a ladder representing their income, education, and how much respect their jobs might command compared with other Americans.
The team’s findings suggest that privilege promotes dishonesty. For example, upper-class subjects were more likely to cheat. After five apparently random rolls of a computerized die for a chance to win an online gift certificate, three times as many upper-class players reported totals higher than 12—even though, unbeknownst to them, the game was rigged so that 12 was the highest possible score.
When participants were manipulated into thinking of themselves as belonging to a higher class than they did, the poorer ones, too, began to behave unethically. In one test, subjects were asked to compare themselves with people at the top or the bottom of the social scale (Donald Trump or a homeless person, for example.) They were then permitted to take candies from a jar ostensibly meant for a group of children in a nearby lab. Subjects whose role-playing raised their status in their own eyes took twice as many candies as those who compared themselves to “The Donald,” the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In another test, participants were asked to list several benefits of greed; they were given the example that greed can help further one’s professional goals, then asked to come up with three additional benefits. Again, lower-class subjects whose attitudes toward greed had been nudged in this way became just as likely as their wealthier counterparts to sympathize with dishonest behavior (taking home office supplies, laying off employees while increasing their own bonuses, overcharging customers to drive up profits).
In a final experiment, the researchers took their hypothesis to the streets. At a busy intersection in the San Francisco Bay area, the team stationed “pedestrians” at crosswalks, with instructions to approach the crossing at a point when oncoming drivers would have a chance to stop. Observers coded the status of the cars’ drivers based on the vehicles’ age, make, and appearance. Drivers of shiny, expensive cars were three times more likely than those of old clunkers to plow through a crosswalk, failing to yield to pedestrians as required by California state law. High-status motorists were also four times more likely than those with cheaper, older cars to cut off other drivers at a four-way stop.
Can we all stop making with the giggles about Three Six Mafia winning an Oscar? Oh, tee-hee those wacky rappers won something!
They fuckin straight up legit ass won. That was truly the best song that year. It truly was a badass song that fit perfectly into the film. Hustle & Flow was one of the best films and that song and the music therein was one of the main factors for getting it there.
“He [Rick Santorum] is a staunch opponent of abortion, even in the case of rape. Even in the case of rape, telling CNN recently that a woman, in that case, should, and I quote, ‘make the best out of a bad situation, and accept the gift from God.’ Wow. I think women should say the same thing to Santorum, Andy, after from now until the end of his weaselly life, they see him in the street and kick him in the fucking balls. ‘Please accept this gift from God, Rick, this pointed-shoed gift to your plums. Why are you rolling around on the ground crying, Rick? Please make the best out of this bad situation. In fact, rejoice, because I believe another lady is coming over to gift you with another high-velocity nut shot. Praise be, Rick! God is graciously raining gifts into your groinal area, you fucking douche.’”—
“The thing about suffering or discomfort in general, facing things that you’re afraid of, is that it feels like I said, like you’re achieving something, like you’re productive because you’re overcoming. Because without suffering you can’t overcome anything, and if you can’t overcome anything you’re living in a stasis. So, I feel like no matter what you’re doing in your life you’re always going to have obstacles, and it’s good to have obstacles, you don’t want to live in a life without obstacles, because then you’re not really existing, you’re not using the potential of being a human being. I’m not putting myself in situations where I’m suffering, but I’m always shooting to live a life where there can always be another step in front of me. It keeps you feeling like there’s hope you know? It keeps you feeling like there’s something left in the world for you.”— Nika Roza Danilova (Zola Jesus)
this is a list I just spent some time drafting to email my dad, who recently informed me he’d vote for Santorum. I figured other people might find it a useful resource, though hardly exhaustive, so I’m posting it here. This is compiled to try to be persuasive to a…