People who are rich have trouble recognising the emotions of others, a new study claims.
The university research has found that those who are poorer are better at gauging how someone feels because they need to rely on other people more often.
Scientists speculated that the rich performed worse in tests because they can solve their problems without relying on others. In other words, because of their wealth they are not as dependent on the people around them.
Whereas people who cannot afford to buy support services - such as childcare - have to rely on neighbours or relatives to watch their children while they attend work or run errands.
One experiment used volunteers who worked at a university. Some had graduated from college while others had not. Researchers used educational level as a proxy for social class.
In the U.S, where the study was carried out, the term 'upper class' often equates to how rich someone is, rather than the more complex notions of class that exist in Britain.
The volunteers did an emotion perception test in which they were told to look at pictures of faces and indicate which emotions each face was displaying.
People with more education performed worse on the task than people with less education.
In another study, university students who were of higher social standing - determined from each student's self-reported perceptions of his or her family's socio-economic status - had a more difficult time accurately reading the emotions of a stranger during a group job interview.
The research team said that these results suggest that people of upper-class status are not very good at recognising the emotions other people are feeling.
A final experiment found that, when people were made to feel that they were at a lower social class than they actually were, they got better at reading emotions.
The study published in Psychological Science - a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, was co-written by Michael Kraus, of the University of California-San Francisco. ...
via Why people who are rich are no good at empathy | Mail Online.