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Home » Paul Piff on Does Money Make You Mean – Transcript

Paul Piff on Does Money Make You Mean – Transcript

Paul Piff

In this entertaining but sobering TEDxMarin talk, social psychologist Paul Piff shares his research into how people behave when they feel wealthy. But while the problem of inequality is a complex and daunting challenge, there’s good news too. 

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Paul Piff_ Does money make you mean_

Paul Piff – Social psychologist

I want you to, for a moment, think about playing a game of Monopoly, except in this game, that combination of skill, talent and luck that help earn you success in games, as in life, has been rendered irrelevant, because this game has been rigged, and you’ve got the upper hand. You’ve got more money, more opportunities to move around the board, and more access to resources.

And as you think about that experience, I want you to ask yourself, how might that experience of being a privileged player in a rigged game change the way that you think about yourself and regard that other player?

So we ran a study on the U.C. Berkeley campus to look at exactly that question. We brought in more than 100 pairs of strangers into the lab, and with the flip of a coin randomly assigned one of the two to be a rich player in a rigged game. They got two times as much money. When they passed Go, they collected twice the salary, and they got to roll both dice instead of one, so they got to move around the board a lot more.

And over the course of 15 minutes, we watched through hidden cameras what happened. And what I want to do today, for the first time, is show you a little bit of what we saw. You’re going to have to pardon the sound quality, in some cases, because again, these were hidden cameras. So we’ve provided subtitles.

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