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Worst Liars and Cheaters: Rich People

And they'll cut you off in traffic, for that matter
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2012 10:42 AM CST
Updated Mar 3, 2012 11:15 AM CST

(Newser) – You might think that people who are comparatively well off would be less likely to lie and cheat to make a buck, but you'd be wrong. A series of experiments from UC Berkeley doctoral student Paul Piff found that time and again upper-class people were willing to do shady things for even the smallest rewards, MSNBC reports. In one test, participants were told to play an online dice game, recording their own scores. Upper-income people were much more likely to exaggerate their results.

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The prize they were after? Extra entries in a drawing for a $50 gift card. "It was fairly remarkable," Piff says. "You wouldn't think that people reporting incomes of $150,000 per year would be so motivated to win this." In another survey, wealthy participants proved much more likely to lie to a hypothetical job applicant to get him to accept lower wages. Piff came up with the tests after a series of traffic studies in which he observed that people in expensive cars were less courteous drivers. (Read more rich stories.)

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