Weekend trip to New York, Tesla in the garage: There are a number of perks to getting rich. However, flaunting this condition can be harmful, as a series of studies in »Journal of personality and social psychologypoints out. Most people prefer to work with more modest people, according to the conclusion of six experiments with more than 2,800 people tested. Those who decorate themselves with status symbols, for example on social media, are less likely to put the welfare of others above their own interests.
A team led by marketing researcher Shalina Srina of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor recruited test subjects for both online and university exams. They encounter fictional scenarios such as the prisoner’s dilemma, a classic game theory experiment in which two people must decide without consulting whether to shoot the other for their own good. Participants behaved less cooperatively towards fellow players who indicated a high status.
In another experiment, subjects were asked to choose people to join their community based on their social media profiles. Profiles contained posts such as “I saw the cutest puppy today!” or posts about expensive clothes and travel, for example “On the way to Madrid!”. Those who indicated high status with their profile were not only judged to be wealthier but also more self-serving and were less likely to be recommended as a new member of the group. However, in other circumstances, status symbols were useful: when it came to competition, those of high recognizable status were more likely to be chosen.
“Alcohol buff. Troublemaker. Introvert. Student. Social media lover. Web ninja. Bacon fan. Reader.”