HealthDay released an article that referenced the work of researchers Hyunjin Koo, Azim Shariff, and Paul Piff on the attitudes of wealthy people towards lower income people based on the way they made their money. 

It may make sense to predict that wealthy people who came from the ground up may tend to be more compassionate toward those of lower income because of their own background, but Koo, Shariff, and Piff’s findings suggest that is simply a myth. In fact, as the HealthDay article explains, those who were poor and created their own wealth had less sympathy towards those in lower socioeconomic classes than those who were born into wealth. Koo, who was interviewed for the article, noted that the people in the study who became rich “perceive improving one’s socioeconomic conditions as less difficult relative to [those who are] born rich.” 

Although this research reframes some past assumptions of both groups that became rich and those that were born rich, Koo notes that more research is needed to explain how upward mobility changes a person’s mindset. 

Want to read more? The full article is available here.