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Why Wealthier People Think People Are Wealthier, and Why It Matters

Dawtry, Rael J and Sutton, Robbie M and Sibley, Chris G (2015) 'Why Wealthier People Think People Are Wealthier, and Why It Matters.' Psychological Science, 26 (9). pp. 1389-1400. ISSN 0956-7976

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The present studies provide evidence that social-sampling processes lead wealthier people to oppose redistribution policies. In samples of American Internet users, wealthier participants reported higher levels of wealth in their social circles (Studies 1a and 1b). This was associated, in turn, with estimates of higher mean wealth in the wider U.S. population, greater perceived fairness of the economic status quo, and opposition to redistribution policies. Furthermore, results from a large-scale, nationally representative New Zealand survey revealed that low levels of neighborhood-level socioeconomic deprivation—an objective index of wealth within participants’ social circles—mediated the relation between income and satisfaction with the economic status quo (Study 2). These findings held controlling for relevant variables, including political orientation and perceived self-interest. Social-structural inequalities appear to combine with social-sampling processes to shape the different political attitudes of wealthier and poorer people.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: social structure, socioeconomic status, judgment, open data, open materials
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2021 17:03
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 15:06

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