Rich are Rude, Poor are Nice. But Still Poor.

Have you always thought that rich people are jerks? Perhaps that's because of the fact that science has just proved: Rich people are jerks.

[Psychology researchers at Berkeley] videotaped 100 undergraduate students who didn't know each other, and studied their body language during one-minute gaps in conversation.

The results were clear: Students from a higher socio- economic background were more likely to be rude during the silence. They would doodle, fidget or start grooming themselves. Less-privileged students made far more effort to engage with the other person, making "I'm interested" signals such as laughing or raising eyebrows.

In short, the richer people were a lot ruder, while the poor were a lot more polite.

The researchers think this is an evolutionary trait, because the poor are weak and need to "ingratiate" themselves to the rich, who are the strong. Also, it's much easier to pick someone's pocket when they're distracted by your smile. [Bloomberg via Cityfile]