More Money, Less Empathy
New research published in the Journal of Psychological Science investigated the correlation between individuals with low or high socioeconomic status and their ability to be empathetic.
The article entitled, Social Class, Contextualism, and Empathetic Accuracy was written by researchers Michael Kraus of University of San Francisco, Stephane Cote of the University of Toronto and Dacher Keltner of the University of California, Berkeley.
By conducting a variety of experiments, the researchers discovered that lower-class individuals were better at reading emotions on other individual’s faces than upper-class individuals.
The ability to read emotions on others’ faces was what the researchers defined as empathic accuracy.
Kraus suggests in a Time Magazine article that the measure of empathic accuracy “is important because it is a key part of empathy itself: if you can’t recognize what someone else is going through, it’s hard to respond with kindness to their needs”.
There are many theories as to why individuals of a lower class may be better at reading emotions than upper class individuals.
Many of the researcher’s theories can be seen by reading the complete Time Magazine article