New research into ethics and class: the rich are more likely to cut you off while driving and take candy from children

April 14, 2012

Kelly Pope, Workers Party, Christchurch

With increasing industrial and social action against inequality taking place around the world, one outcome has been a shift in the focus of research towards the issues these movements and campaigns are highlighting. For example, in psychology and ethics there has been a recent emphasis on exploring the relationship between wealth distribution or class and a range of behaviours and dispositions that are considered pro-social and ethical, or anti-social and immoral.

Research that has recently featured in the media found that employers are four times as likely as the general population to have anti-social personality disorder, the condition experienced by people often referred to as psychopaths, which is characterised by impulsivity, manipulative behaviour and the inability to empathise with others. Looking more deeply into the relationship between socio-economic class and anti-social behaviour, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have carried out a series of studies, all of which have shown unethical behaviour to be more prevalent in the upper classes. Read the rest of this entry »


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