Do Posh People Cheat More Than the Lower Classes?


Who cheats more: the lower classes to escape poverty or the upper classes because they feel entitled?

Imagine two people: one from the upper classes and one from the lower classes. Let’s say our lower class individual works in a factory, lives in a small house in an average area and receives a relatively small salary.

Our upper class individual, though, has inherited money, lives in a large house in a beautiful area and doesn’t need to work for money.

Now let’s say both these individuals are driving along in their cars (one cheap, one expensive), when they approach a pedestrian crossing (crosswalk for our US friends). There’s someone there waiting to cross and, by law, they are obliged to stop. And let’s say we’re in a country where generally people obey these sorts of rules.

On balance, who do you think is more likely to cheat and cut off the pedestrian? The upper class person or the lower class person?

Well, wonder no more because this exact observational study was carried out by Piff et al. (2012) in California.

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