Wealthy people are more rude when talking to others, study shows

  1. I'm not sure what to make of this. What do you think?

    Body Language Reveals Wealth

    A flashy handbag or Armani suit can signal a person's wealth, but so can their body language, according to a new study. People of higher socioeconomic status are more rude when conversing with others.
    Psychologists Michael Kraus and Dacher Keltner of the University of California, Berkeley, videotaped pairs of undergraduate students who were strangers to one another, during one-on-one interviews. In total, 100 undergraduate students participated.
    The researchers then looked for certain gestures that indicate level of interest in the other person during one-minute slices of each conversation.
    They found that students whose parents were from higher socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds engaged in more of what he called "impolite" behaviors, such as grooming, doodling and fidgeting. Lower SES students showed more "I'm interested" gestures, including laughter and raising of the eyebrows
    The higher SES students fidgeted with nearby objects for an average of two seconds, while those from lower SES backgrounds almost never fidgeted during the 60-second clips. Upper SES students also groomed themselves for short stints while lower SES students didn't. Rather, the lower SES students nodded their heads, laughed and raised their eyebrows an average of one to two seconds more than their upper SES counterparts.
    "We're talking seconds here, but that is a pretty big difference when you consider that we coded one minute of interaction time," Kraus told LiveScience. "So how many times a day are you nodding if you're lower socioeconomic status?"
    It comes down to our animalistic tendencies, Kraus explained. Like a peacock's tail, the seemingly snooty gestures of higher SES students indicates modern society's version of "I'm fit," and "I don't need you."
    "In the animal world, conflict arises when you're battling for status. So it's adaptive for us to avoid those conflicts and tell us we know 'I'm higher status than you, so don't bother having a conflict with me,'" Kraus figures.
    Lower SES individuals can't afford to brush off others. "Lower SES people have fewer resources, and by definition should be more dependent on others," Kraus said.
    The research is detailed in the January issue of the journal Psychological Science.

  2. I think it's situational...I'm sure the high SES people also nod a lot when going for a job interview, eg.
  3. interesting...
  4. those undergraduates were not wealthy. Their parents were.

    the title should have read "Offspring of the Wealthy are more snobby when talking to others"
  5. :yes: There's nothing quite like those who walk around with their noses in the air and act bored when talking to "lesser people," though they haven't accomplished or earned anything. Not all children of wealthy people are like this, certainly not. :nogood: For example, there are people on this forum who come from privileged backgrounds, but they're kind people who still manage to treat other people with dignity and respect. For those out there in the world who are little snobs, I would love to tell them, "You're not rich, your parents are, and you wouldn't have a clue how to survive without their money and connections. So stuff the 'tude, princess." :p
  6. Well I have certainly encountered people who were more well off than myself and found them to be uh rude -(judgemental) - ah greed is such an evil thing. Well of course they weren't happier than I was (am) that is their problem.
  7. An interesting observation from Roo-land: I have noticed that in general, people lately are more rude than EVER. I think it's the stress of all this economic strife. As a result, I have been making a conscious effort to be even more polite to others. What is interesting is that I have had two instances in the last couple weeks where I got even better service and treatment because of that. (The people helping me told me that they really appreciated how nice I was..)
  8. while it is an interesting study, what i'm mainly gleaning from this article is that lower ses parents tend to do a better job raising polite children than higher ses parents. :shrugs:
  9. Interesting study, but I am firmly of the belief that rudeness (and politeness) cuts across all walks of life no matter what your income or background.
  10. I have noticed that as well. I think people forget that you have a choice to be nice or not. People want to help those that are kind.What I've noticed being in the States again from Canada is a huge cultural difference. I've come across people who ask me about my family and such. Just when I am about to answer they turn away or start a conversation with someone else. Just to do the same thing over again. Why ask about someone if you really don't care. I can't stand insincerity. I'd rather someone brush me off than ask a question that they have no intentions of hearing. :cursing:

    I've come across this with both wealthy and not. Interesting read though.
  11. :tup:
  12. I think people often underestimate the effect stress has on their health, mood and personality. This is indeed a very good observation, and it makes sense, IMO.

    That's a good point, too. Along those lines, since people are raised by their peers and the media (depending on exposure) as well, I'm thinking this probably goes beyond the parents' influence to include cultural and peer forces.
  13. I work in a customer service type industry (insurance auto claims).

    Those people who are higher in socioeconomic status (i.e. live in affluent areas, drive really nice cars), seem to think that the regulations don't apply to them. I've had more "rich" people be rude, snotty, and downright nasty to me than anyone else. I treat everyone the same and give everyone the same spiel on the phone regarding the claims process, but for some reason, I get more bad treatment out of certain groups than others.

    It sounds bad, but when I see a BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus claim pop-up, I hope and pray that they aren't going to be difficult with me. They are also more likely to get attorneys at the first sign of something not going their way.

    Sidebar: I'm not saying they are all like that. I've had some really nice wealthy people as well.
  14. Oh, the Entitlement Syndrome. I absolutely hate it when people act as though they're entitled to more or better than others, as though they're too good for rules or guidelines. I hate that.
  15. :tup: