Paul Pitt, a UC Berkeley Social Psychologist, and colleagues have a new study that evaluates the finding that the rich are less altruistic and that the poor give more to charity and are more likely to act with pro social behavior. The research that resulted leads to the conclusion that since 1% are the rich and wealthy and they have 90% of the wealth, further social inequality and continued slow economy recovery will continue. Why is it that the lower income participants in this study showed a greater tendency to show and act with compassion and had a greater concern for egalitarian values and well being of others was the question addressed in the further study by Pitt and Dacher Keilner, a faculty member for the Greater Good Science Center. Why would the people with the least be willing to give more? And the results showed that in fact “rich” participants could be induced to feel compassion and act in more pro social displays of behavior. From this, their arguement was that the poor feel compassion towards others because they have the need to be more connected with others-more dependent on others, have acquired the ability to display more empathy and are more sensitive to body language because it is required as a life skill.
Through their study which was consistent with the national income percentage of how income is spent, relative to their income the poor gave more than the upper income. But with the findings of the Pitt Social Psychology study soon to be published, the researchers determined that the rich and the poor don’t necessarily perform differently in capacity for pro social behavior, just in baseline compassion they feel.
However, the implications of these results indicate that continued social inequality will result. Those that have the loargest resources see their best strategy to be holding on to their money or social advantage. The lack of recovery to the economy has been defined as being a result of their being a holding back and holding on in purchases now compared to years past when the economy was seen to be going very well. So this study points to the economy continuing on this path, Whether we’re as a society looking at problems with the environment where greed for wealth has put our planet in jeopardy as the BP Gulf tragedy demonstrates, or whether we shrug our shoulders in reading the billions that are going to a war in Afghanistan while children in Oakland grow up with limited futures that will be a problem for us all, what will change our participation and investment in our lives would seem to be implied by this study. In other words, we can tolerate poverty in our cities and lack of opportunity and education that will sustain the poverty. And for the middle class there is a struggle with the economy, and the economist say people are holding off on purchases, keeping costs down where they can which is keeping business and money flow down.
But the real wealth-the 1% with the 90% as Robert Reich puts it are causing a huge problem for the middle class.. http://dampfang.com/community-in-san-francisco/berkeley-s-robert-reich-professor-of-public-policy-class-worrierAltruism, looking for the common greater good with clearer eyes about how each of us can participate in that would seem to be the future we all want, and from the study comparing rich and poor behavior, the rich can “learn” compassion and empathy and look for ways they can participate in increasing the options and possibilities for all of society. That is what Bill Gates, William Buffet Ted Turner and others are doing in their once a month luncheons to identify where they can place their commitment all of them have taken to give away half of their wealth. Rather than being isolated by their wealth, these leaders of the world’s wealth have taken a new course of action for themselves are investing in their world.