ScienceNOW: Findings suggest that privilege promotes dishonesty
To see whether dishonesty varies with social class, psychologist Paul Piff of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues devised a series of tests, working with groups of 100 to 200 Berkeley undergraduates or adults recruited online. Subjects completed a standard gauge of their social status, placing an X on one of 10 rungs of a ladder representing their income, education, and how much respect their jobs might command compared with other Americans. The team’s findings suggest that privilege promotes dishonesty. For example, upper-class subjects were more likely to cheat.
Freakanomics’ bagel story reports the same findings. There was more theft of bagels at the wealthier client sites and more theft on executive floors.