‘Higher status’ people less likely to share wealth

‘Higher status’ people less likely to share wealth

The social experiment involved a series of economic games in which people played with other people for real money. The games involved participants deciding how much money they kept and how much they gave to a group pot. The money in the pot was always shared out to the players.

Participants were assigned a status, either ‘higher status’ or ‘lower status’. This determined how much more or less money they were allotted compared to a group of other others that they played with. In some experiments participants were allocated high or low status based on chance and in other experiments they were allocated high or low status based on effort.

The study found that overall, the low status participants contributed more than the high status participants. Also, high status participants contributed even less when they had earned their wealth through effort compared to those who had acquired their riches through chance.

The study, published in the journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology, demonstrates under laboratory conditions that once we gain access to more resources, the way in which we gain access will determine how we behave with others.

Source: ‘Lower status’ people more likely to share wealth than ‘higher status’ people


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