Money Degrades Our Ability to Empathize

Pacific Standard:

Given the tone-deaf comments a wealthy political figure recently made while addressing some equally affluent donors, you’d almost think money makes a person less able to relate to the feelings of others.

And, according to newly published research, you’d be absolutely right.

“Financial incentives lead individuals to see themselves as less interdependent with others, and consequently render them less able to accurately infer what others are feeling,” report psychologists Christine Ma-Kellams and Jim Blascovich.

Specifically, they found people judged the emotional states of others less accurately when they were offered a monetary reward for a correct response. Writing in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, they describe two experiments that produced these counterintuitive results.

Read the whole story: Pacific Standard

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