Having less, giving more – lower classes show greater compassion

Emotional differences between the rich and poor, as depicted in many fairy tales, may have a scientific basis. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that people in the lower socio-economic classes are more compassionate than their upper-class counterparts. In comparison, individuals in the upper classes were less able to detect and respond to the distress signals of others.

It’s not that the upper classes are coldhearted,” said UC Berkeley social psychologist Jennifer Stellar, lead author of the study. “They may just not be as adept at recognizing the cues and signals of suffering because they haven’t had to deal with as many obstacles in their lives.”

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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