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Science: Rich People Drive Like Jerks

Science: Rich People Drive Like Jerks
Lee Jae Won/Reuters

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have discovered that people in high-end cars are more likely to pull some of the most irritating driving maneuvers on the road and generally behave like jerks.

The man behind the research is Paul K. Piff, a social scientist at the school's Institute of Personality and Social Research. Piff and his team studied how drivers react to pedestrians, as well as how they behave at a multi-stop intersection. Their study was subsequently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

"In their observation of 274 cars, the researchers found that the more expensive ones were more likely to jump their turns in the four-way rotation" reported The New York Times. Piff told the paper:

[Y]ou see this huge boost in a driver’s likelihood to commit infractions in more expensive cars ... In our crosswalk study, none of the cars in the beater-car category drove through the crosswalk. They always stopped for pedestrian.

So what's this teach us about rich people besides the fact that they don't wait their turn or really respect pedestrians? Piff's car study is part of a bigger project on inequality in this country. The Berkeley researcher has also found that rich people are more likely to cheatdeceive, and even take candy from children. In other words, The Simpsons's Mr. Burns was a pretty accurate depiction of wealth, after all.

This article originally appeared on The Atlantic Wire.

Alexander Abad-Santos writes for The Atlantic Wire. All posts »

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