Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Do The Rich Give More?

Not as a percentage of their wealth, according to a recently published study by Paul Piff, a psychologist at U.C. Berkeley. He began his study by giving subjects credits, worth real money, and asking them if they’d like to keep the credits or share it with another person. Subjects who were at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale (both in terms of income and education) gave almost 50% more away than those at the higher end. He then asked the participants how much they believe people should give to charity as a percentage of their income. The average response for those at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale was 5.6% while on average the wealthier participants said 2.1%.

Dr. Piff’s results indicate that the poor are more generous than the wealthy. His theory is that the less well off you are the more you depend on others. He says that for the needy, compassion “…instead of money is going to be the resource they can turn to in times of hardship and need.”

Photo provided by Shutterstock.

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