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Dolla Dolla Bills Could Make Y’all Apathetic

Posted By Dominique Sirgy On Nov 30, 2010 @ 2:32 pm In Sandbox | Comments Disabled

Ever feel like some people can pick up on your emotions [1] without you even saying a word? Well it may just be that this person’s ability to read emotions is related to their socioeconomic status.

According to a study published in the November issue of “Psychological Science,” people of lower socioeconomic status are better at reading emotions [2]than those of high socieconomic status. Michael Kraus, co-author of the study and postdoctoral researcher at UCSF (Berkeley researchers also contributed), claims that the higher level of empathy amongst those of low socioeconomic status may be due to the fact that they rely on others for day-to-day activities rather than on money. Therefore it is more important for them to be perceptive of emotion.

“You can see how being empathic provides a better ability to respond to social threats,” Kraus told LiveScience. “It also gives you an opportunity to respond to social opportunities.”

So does this mean that all wealthy people are inevitably blasé? Definitely not, even if blasé is a really cool word. Since the study shows that inability to be perceptive to emotion is based on socioeconomic status, and not ingrained in their genes, it follows that these behaviors are changeable. Now comes the question of how exactly to change these behaviors, and make the richies more empathetic.

“Being empathic is one of the first steps to helping other people,” Kraus said. “One of the first things we’re really interested in is what can make wealthy people — affluent people the people with the largest capacity to give — what can make them empathic?”

Any ideas?

Image Source: Thomas Hawk [3] under Creative Commons
Wealthy People Poorer at Reading Emotions? [DailyCal [1]]
Money can’t buy you love — or social skills [The Christian Science Monitor [2]]

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URL to article: http://clog.dailycal.org/2010/11/30/dolla-dolla-bills-could-make-yall-apathetic/

URLs in this post:

[1] pick up on your emotions: http://www.dailycal.org/article/111371/wealthy_people_poorer_at_reading_emotions_

[2] better at reading emotions : http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/new-economy/2010/1121/Money-can-t-buy-you-love-or-social-skills

[3] Thomas Hawk: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/540936323/sizes/m/in/photostream/

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