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Research suggests that social class influences how much compassion people show to others who need help.

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Research suggests that social class influences how much compassion people show to others who need help. For example, one study reported that luxury car drivers were more likely to cut off other motorists instead of waiting for their turn at the intersection. Another showed that less-affluent people are more likely to agree with such statements as, “I often notice people who need help,” and “It’s important to take care of people who are vulnerable.” Other studies have demonstrated that upper-class people are not as good at recognizing others’ emotions. One explanation is that more resources provide a sense of independence: the less we have to rely on others, the less we care about their feelings. Do you have personal experience that would provide evidence to this argument, either for or against? Do you think your family’s social class affects their awareness of the needs of others, and would it change if their social class changed?

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