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Surprising Science

The Rich Can’t Read Emotions

The rich may seem to have it all, but the upper classes are not as good as the lower classes at reading the emotions of others, perhaps because the poor rely more on others to survive.

Although the educated and wealthy may seem to outperform the uneducated and poor, according to a recent article published in Psychological Science, there is one thing that the lower classes are superior at: reading the emotions of others. … In one experiment, the psychological scientists used volunteers who worked at a university, some of whom had graduated college and others who had not. The volunteers were tested for emotion perception: They were instructed to look at pictures of faces and indicate which emotions each face displayed. The results show that people with more education performed worse on the task than people with less education.


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