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Rich People Are Emotionally Stupid

That's right. A highfallutin' (probably rich) journal of psychology said so.

See, rich people don't really NEED other people the way poor folks do. Somehow they are able to run their empires/ kingdoms/ corporations/ whatever and never need to "read" the emotions of the people around them. I see this in my shopping allll the time, and the differences between the "rich" and "poor" shoppers is astounding. Mind you, I am speaking in generalities only and (being on the lower end of the wealth spectrum myself) simply attempting to shed a bit of light on this "scientific" finding:

Wal-Mart workers, owing to their extreme dependence on their jobs, are intuitively almost *giddy* to assist customers. That's why I always shop at Wal-Mart, and not Richie Foo-Foo's high-end restaurant where they like to misdirect you, pretend not to know what product you're talking about, and give general "it should be over here somewhere" mumbled "helps" before running about into another aisle with a scanner and nary a backward glance. We all know that we'd NEVER be treated that way at Wal-Mart.

Aaah. And the clientele at the two establishments. Night and day! I'm always pleasantly astounded by the courteousness of the unaccompanied young shoppers at Wal-Mart. Those children are ALWAYS on the lookout for my emotional feedback.

But when I (as happens so often!) dine in places like Richie Foo-Foo's that use cloth napkins and code words like "market price" on the menu, I notice very quickly that these establishments know nothing of "noise moderation" or "musical taste." Further, the diners employ "fingernails on the blackboard" techniques to annoy those nearby by screeching things like, "Roofie! Roofie! You done got them apples? They on special!" I tell you, grammar like this ought be reserved and used on our political prisoners after the waterboarding techniques don't work. I won't even mention the lack of consonants employed by Mr. Moneybucks and his ilk. Folks like this are far too busy employing their double negatives, I suppose, to give consonants a good workout.

In conclusion, Richie Rich folks have MONEY, so they can afford to be annoying.

I have about zero dollars, but I know hate when I see it. Who writes these "scientific" journal articles, anyway? It struck me as a classist rant indeed, just as mine was meant to be... except theirs wasn't a joke. And the conclusion?

"A final experiment found that, when people were made to feel that they were at a lower social class than they actually were, they got better at reading emotions. This shows that 'it’s not something ingrained in the individual,' Kraus says. 'It’s the cultural context leading to these differences.'" (emphasis mine)

Um... did anyone ever see Trading Places? This is the sort of social experiment that needs to stay in the movie theatre. Unfortunately, as so often happens when a new and very "scientific" sort of story hits the news, it gets twisted and pandered as Absolute Truth to people who get their news from places like the Daily Mail. YES, that is Paris Hilton's naked butt in the sidebar. I didn't need to see it, either.


  1. Aha! And that is why the rates of autism are higher in rich, well-educated families . . .

    *eyes rolling* . . .

  2. I don't know what WalMart these people are shopping at, but I can't say I've seen very many friendly, helpful personnel at my local store. Mostly they seem sullen and overly-pierced.

  3. Tammy, I am GOING to have to do a whollle separate post on that sometime. Because I should be rollin' in the dough...

    Deb, I was being a little sarcastic there. I know surly and sullen people as well as joyful ones from ALL walks of life. But Wal-Mart workers are particularly sullen and unhelpful. I've learnt that it is because they deal with the most difficult and unkind customers, and the store is not set up to allow them time or support to deal with these people properly.

    One lady who walked in and started screaming and cussing on the checkout line got a whole new line opened for her. They wanted her out fast, you could tell. So... it reinforces that bad behaviour. I know they don't mean it that way, but corporately, they DO set up the stores so that shoppers are less likely to be friendly to one another. I've never seen anyone asked to leave because of their unruly children or their cussing and yelling.


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