Why do upper socioeconomic status and lower socioeconomic status class individuals behave unethically?
Why do upper socioeconomic status and lower socioeconomic status class individuals behave unethically? Social class, or socioeconomic status refers to an individual’s rank vis-s-vis others in society in terms of wealth, occupational prestige, and education (Piff, Stancato, Cote, Medoza-Denton, Keltner, 2013). When a person is in the upper class of socioeconomic status those individuals believe that they are entitled to something. (I am not saying all upper socioeconomic status individuals act like this, but the majority do). Lower socioeconomic status individuals feel as though they have to help one another, and if breaking a few rules will help them, then why not? Ethics is brought up here. Research shows that the pursuit of self-interest is more fundamental motive among society’s elite, and the increased want associated with greater wealth and status can promote wrongdoing, and this was found not only for the elite status, but as well as the lower socioeconomic status (Piff, Stancato, Cote, Medoza-Denton, Keltner, 2013). This is not saying that the middle class of socioeconomic status does not have their downfalls either, but what good would it do for them? Many middle class socioeconomic status individuals have lived in all three realms of the socioeconomic status classes and have found a middle ground where breaking rules is not as necessary.