Are you rich? Well, you might be prone to lie

NEED TO KNOW
  • New research says wealthy more likely to cheat and lie
  • Affluent people are "more self-focused," author says
Are you rich? Well, you might be prone to lie

As if you needed a scientific reason to hate the 1%, a new study confirms what your sinking heart and increasingly bare cupboard told you long ago: Rich people would take candy from a baby.

The aforementioned scenario was actually one of seven experiments in a new study featured in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In addition to having the propensity to snatch a pack of Now N Laters from the tender grasp of a doe-eyed child, the study found that the "upper class" as it calls them, are more likely to tell a bald-faced lie during negotiations and skew the odds in their favor during a contest. Not to mention they just have bigger bank than you and I.

The research, conducted by Paul Piff, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at the University of California-Berkeley, turns on its head a common perception that the haves are without scruples compared to the have-nots.

“It’s not that the rich are innately bad, but as you rise in the ranks -- whether as a person or a nonhuman primate -- you become more self-focused,” Piff told Bloomberg. “You can change that by reminding upper-class people of the needs of others. That may not be their default, but (to) have them do it is sufficient to increase their patterns of altruistic behavior.”

Read more: Rich guys win the Lotto? Sooo not fair!

The study shows that affluent people “perceive greed as positive and beneficial,” Piff told Bloomberg.

“Upper-class individuals are more self-focused, they privilege themselves over others, and they engage in self- interested patterns of behavior,” he said.

But not everyone agrees on some of the study's tactics. Meredith McGinley, an assistant professor at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, told Bloomberg that the study's contention that a flashy car meant the owner was well-off was a flawed one. Well, sort of.

Bloomberg also mentions an exception to the all-rich-people-are-evil rule, but are there others? HLN readers, what other benevolent moguls are there besides Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Tony Stark? 

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