Everybody Needs Somebody Sometime...Unless They're Rich

Rich people are less likely to rely on friends and family in a crisis, preferring to count on the safety their money and possessions can provide, according to a study out this month.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

A paper published this month in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that , the more money you have, the more likely it is that you will turn to your possessions, rather than other people, for comfort during chaotic situations. Five different experiments were conducted in which subjects, primed with situations that gave them a sense of helplessness, were asked to answer a series of questions and/or perform a number of tasks. In one example, participants were offered a scenario that involved their leaving their support networks to move to a new job with a better salary. In uncertain situations, poorer people preferred to stick close to home, whereas richer people were fine with taking the job.

What's the Big Idea?

The results showed a consistent tendency for the less-affluent to lean on their family and friends for support, while the more-affluent preferred to rely on their financial security. The drastic differences between the two groups in their coping responses to turmoil may account for increased polarization in times of crisis. Not surprisingly, one researcher cites this disparity as a contributor to the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots.

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