Arquivo da tag: Desigualdade

Money makes people right-wing, inegalitarian, UK study finds (Science Daily)

Date: 

February 6, 2014

Source: University of Warwick

Summary: Lottery winners tend to switch towards support for a right-wing political party and to become less egalitarian, according to new research on UK data.

Evidence on Switchers: The Percentage of People Who Switched Right (Conservative), and Previously Did Not Vote Conservative, After a Lottery Win Source: BHPS Data, Waves 7-18. Credit: Source: BHPS Data, Waves 7-18; Graph courtesy of University of Warwick

Lottery winners tend to switch towards support for a right-wing political party and to become less egalitarian, according to new research on UK data by Professor Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick and Professor Nattavudh Powdthavee of the London School of Economic and the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne.

Their study, published as a new University of Warwick working paper under the title “Does Money Make People Right-Wing and Inegalitarian: A Longitudinal Study of Lottery Wins”, shows that the larger the win, the more people tilt to the right. The study uses information on thousands of people and on lottery wins up to 200,000 pounds sterling. The authors say it is the first research of its kind.

The authors believe their paper has wide implications for how democracy works. Professor Oswald said he had become doubtful of the view that morality was an objective choice. “In the voting booth, monetary self-interest casts a long shadow, despite people’s protestations that there are intellectual reasons for voting for low tax rates.”

“We are not sure exactly what goes on inside people’s brains”, said Nick Powdthavee, “but it seems that having money causes people to favour conservative right-wing ideas. Humans are creatures of flexible ethics.”

The authors believe their paper has wide implications for how democracy works. Professor Oswald said he had become doubtful of the view that morality was an objective choice. “In the voting booth, monetary self-interest casts a long shadow, despite people’s protestations that there are intellectual reasons for voting for low tax rates.”

The authors’ paper comments that: “The causes of people’s political attitudes are largely unknown. One possibility is that individuals’ attitudes towards politics and redistribution are motivated by deeply ethical view. Our study provides empirical evidence that voting choices are made out of self-interest.”

Using a nationally representative sample of lottery winners in the UK – the British Household Panel Survey – the researchers have been able to explore the observed longitudinal changes in political allegiance of the bigger winners to the smaller winners. The effect is also sizeable. Winning a few thousand pounds in the lottery has an effect on right-wingness that is just under half of completing a good standard of education (i.e. A-levels) at high school.

The lottery winning effect is far stronger for males than females. The authors are not sure why.

The study has nobody who wins millions and millions. “We’d certainly love to be able to track the views of the rare giant winners”, said Professor Oswald, “if any lottery company would like to work with our research team.”

Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew Oswald, Nattavudh Powdthavee. Does Money Make People Right-Wing and Inegalitarian: A Longitudinal Study of Lottery WinsUniversity of Warwick, February 2014

Schizophrenia Linked to Social Inequality (Science Daily)

Dec. 14, 2012 — Higher rates of schizophrenia in urban areas can be attributed to increased deprivation, increased population density and an increase in inequality within a neighbourhood, new research reveals. The research, led by the University of Cambridge in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London, was published today in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Dr James Kirkbride, lead author of the study from the University of Cambridge, said: “Although we already know that schizophrenia tends to be elevated in more urban communities, it was unclear why. Our research suggests that more densely populated, more deprived and less equal communities experience higher rates of schizophrenia and other similar disorders. This is important because other research has shown that many health and social outcomes also tend to be optimal when societies are more equal.”

The scientists used data from a large population-based incidence study (the East London first-episode psychosis study directed by Professor Jeremy Coid at the East London NHS Foundation Trust and Queen Mary, University of London) conducted in three neighbouring inner city, ethnically diverse boroughs in East London: City & Hackney, Newham, and Tower Hamlets.

427 people aged 18-64 years old were included in the study, all of whom experienced a first episode of psychotic disorder in East London between 1996 and 2000. The researchers assessed their social environment through measures of the neighbourhood in which they lived at the time they first presented to mental health services because of a psychotic disorder. Using the 2001 census, they estimated the population aged 18-64 years old in each neighbourhood, and then compared the incidence rate between neighbourhoods.

The incidence of schizophrenia (and other similar disorders where hallucinations and delusions are the dominant feature) still showed variation between neighbourhoods after taking into account age, sex, ethnicity and social class. Three environmental factors predicted risk of schizophrenia — increased deprivation (which includes employment, income, education and crime) increased population density, and an increase in inequality (the gap between the rich and poor).

Results from the study suggested that a percentage point increase in either neighbourhood inequality or deprivation was associated with an increase in the incidence of schizophrenia and other similar disorders of around 4%.

Dr Kirkbride added: “Our research adds to a wider and growing body of evidence that inequality seems to be important in affecting many health outcomes, now possibly including serious mental illness. Our data seems to suggest that both absolute and relative levels of deprivation predict the incidence of schizophrenia.

“East London has changed substantially over recent years, not least because of the Olympic regeneration. It would be interesting to repeat this work in the region to see if the same patterns were found.”

The study also found that risk of schizophrenia in some migrant groups might depend on the ethnic composition of their neighbourhood. For black African people, the study found that rates tended to be lower in neighbourhoods where there were a greater proportion of other people of the same background. By contrast, rates of schizophrenia were lower for the black Caribbean group when they lived in more ethnically-integrated neighbourhoods. These findings support the possibility that the socio-cultural composition of our environment could positively or negatively influence risk of schizophrenia and other similar disorders.

Dr John Williams, Head of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the Wellcome Trust said: “This research reminds us that we must understand the complex societal factors as well as the neural mechanisms that underpin the onset of mental illness, if we are to develop appropriate interventions.”

Journal Reference:

  1. J. B. Kirkbride, P. B. Jones, S. Ullrich, J. W. Coid. Social Deprivation, Inequality, and the Neighborhood-Level Incidence of Psychotic Syndromes in East London.Schizophrenia Bulletin, 2012; DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sbs151

Income Inequality and Distrust Foster Academic Dishonesty (APS)

Lucy Hyde – Association for Psychological Science

College professors and students are in an arms race over cheating. Students find new sources for pre-written term papers; professors find new ways to check the texts they get for plagiarized material. But why are all these young people cheating? A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests one reason: income inequality, which decreases the general trust people have toward each other.

Lukas Neville, a doctoral student at Queen’s University in Ontario, was inspired to do the study by his own teaching experience. “I ran into the question of academic dishonesty firsthand,” he says. Like other instructors at universities across North America, he considered using services that automatically check students’ papers for plagiarized material. “But it got me thinking about the actual underlying mechanism that promotes or inhibits academic dishonesty.” He thought the answer might be trust; if students don’t trust each other, some of them might think they have to cheat to keep up with their unscrupulous classmates. And other research has shown that this kind of distrust is more likely to be found in places with high income inequality.

To look at the connection between trust, income inequality, and academic dishonesty, Neville took advantage of data from Google that breaks down search terms by state. Neville found data on searches on phrases like “free term paper,” “buy term paper,” and the names of cheating websites. He compared these to survey data on how trusting people are in each state and a measure of income inequality from the U.S. Census Bureau. He controlled for several other factors that could influence the number of searches, including how many students are in each state, how large the colleges in each state are, and average household income.

Indeed, the data showed that people who live in states with more income inequality were less trusting in general, and those states had more evidence of academic dishonesty. The next step, Neville says, will be to duplicate this finding using laboratory experiments, using pay structure to alter income inequality, then observing the effects on students’ trust and dishonest behavior.

If one of the root causes of cheating is distrust, this could explain why measures like honor codes work, Neville says: when students trust that other people aren’t cheating, they are less likely to cheat themselves. “As educators, there’s not much you can do about the level of inequality in society, but we do have the ability to help foster trust in our colleges and classrooms,” he says.

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For more information about this study, please contact: Lukas Neville at lukasneville@tricolour.queensu.ca.

The APS journal Psychological Science is the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology. For a copy of the article “Do Economic Equality and Generalized Trust Inhibit Academic Dishonesty? Evidence From State-Level Search-Engine Queries” and access to other Psychological Science research findings, please contact Lucy Hyde at 202-293-9300 or lhyde@psychologicalscience.org.