Wealthy Selfies: How Being Rich Increases Narcissism

Posted on September 4, 2013

The rich really are different — and, apparently more self-absorbed, according to the latest research.

That goes against the conventional wisdom that the more people have, the more they appreciate their obligations to give back to others. Recent studies show, for example, that wealthier people are more likely to cut people off in traffic and to behave unethically in simulated business and charity scenarios. Earlier this year, statistics on charitable giving revealed that while the wealthy donate about 1.3% of their income to charity, the poorest actually give more than twice as much as a proportion of their earnings — 3.2%.

The study, which was published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, showed that when asked to visually depict themselves as circles, with size indicating relative importance, richer people picked larger circles for themselves and smaller ones for others. Another experiment found that they also looked in the mirror more frequently.

The wealthier participants were also more likely to agree with statements like “I honestly feel I’m just more deserving than other people” and place themselves higher on a self-assessed “class ladder” that indicated increasing levels of income, education and job prestige.

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Source material from Time


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