Researching the Money-Empathy Gap

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Bible, Mark 10:25

CamelFrom Class Warfare?

New research suggests that more money makes people act less human. Or at least less humane.

Psychologists at the University of California at Berkeley have found that “upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals.” They also discovered that “Putting someone in a role where they’re more privileged and have more power in a game makes them behave like people who actually do have more power, more money, and more status”.

Check out their experiments on the Money-Empathy Gap in the video below:

These experiments also demonstrated that while a poor man playing in a ‘rich world’ becomes more self-centred, a rich man playing in a ‘poor’ world becomes more compassionate to others. That can potentially help people understand their subconscious biases and relate better to others.

Prince Pauper“As long as the King lived he was fond of telling the story of his adventures, all through, from the hour that the sentinel cuffed him away from the palace gate till the final midnight when he deftly mixed himself into a gang of hurrying workmen and so slipped into the Abbey and climbed up and hid himself in the Confessor’s tomb, and then slept so long, next day, that he came within one of missing the Coronation altogether. He said that the frequent rehearsing of the precious lesson kept him strong in his purpose to make its teachings yield benefits to his people; and so, whilst his life was spared he should continue to tell the story, and thus keep its sorrowful spectacles fresh in his memory and the springs of pity replenished in his heart.”

From “The Prince and The Pauper” by Mark Twain



11 thoughts on “Researching the Money-Empathy Gap

  1. Very interesting.
    Rich people I have known are morally poor.


    • Otrazhenie says:

      Hm, I think it all depends on how those people became rich and whether they experienced any hardships in their life. There are a few extraordinarily rich people who set an example for the world with their generosity, e.g. Jon Bon Jovi (check out one of his humanitarian projects at )

    • The people I was referring to, are ones that were born rich. I should have put “some rich people that I have been involved with”. People who start out with nothing and become affluent have a different attitude.

      Where I come from in Scotland, there is no class distinction. Having a lot of money does not impress anyone. Someone who is of good character will get respect, even if they are poor. Some of the kindest people I have met, have not had much money.

      I am currently living in the South of England where “class” is of great importance to quite a lot of people.

  2. ridicuryder says:

    I sometimes wonder if all these needles eventually get bored and decide to just drop in on the rich… know bring that cold hard eye to bear on them, let them experience confinement for a change……maybe it would wisen them up.

  3. Ajaytao2010 says:

    I have know some people are so poor
    all they have is money and nothing else

    thank you dear once again

    I loved this too

  4. melanie says:

    Mark Twain… universal and actual genius! I feel sooo free to be completely detached of the material life… unfortunately, we all live in material societies!

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