Monday, February 27, 2012

Do riches lead to vice?

This is a fascinating piece on social class and vice. Apparently, either being of a higher socioeconomic class, or seeing oneself as of a higher socioeconomic class, leads to vicious behavior. The article itself says in the abstract: "Mediator and moderator data demonstrated that upper-class individuals’ unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed." So the love of money is a root of at least some other evils, science says.

3 comments:

Alexander R Pruss said...

One of the studies there said that mentally comparing yourself to someone destitute, and seeing how much better off you are, made you more vicious while mentally comparing yourself to someone super rich, and seeing how much worse off you are, made you more virtuous. I wonder if the humility induced by thinking of the perfect God has a similar effect as the latter, by deflating privilege.

Andrew said...

Interesting...I had the opposite thought.

Maybe that's true for acquiring the virtue of humility...but what about compassion (if it is a virtue)?
I tend to read about people FAR worse off than I am, and I find myself not inclined to boast in my 'fortune' but rather inclined to help the destitute.

Alexander R Pruss said...

I know: it's puzzling. Maybe studies looking at other vices than these people were looking at will have other results.