Privilege has its most advantage in just being an advantage — a new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reveals nothing new, rich people’s shit don’t stink even if polecats, (at EurekAlert yesterday):
People who see themselves as being in a higher social class may tend to have an exaggerated belief that they are more adept than their equally capable lower-class counterparts, and that overconfidence can often be misinterpreted by others as greater competence in important situations, such as job interviews, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
Advantages beget advantages.
“Those who are born in upper-class echelons are likely to remain in the upper class, and high-earning entrepreneurs disproportionately originate from highly educated, well-to-do families,” said Peter Belmi, PhD, of the University of Virginia and lead author of the study.
“Our research suggests that social class shapes the attitudes that people hold about their abilities and that, in turn, has important implications for how class hierarchies perpetuate from one generation to the next.”
“Individuals with relatively high social class were more overconfident, which in turn was associated with being perceived as more competent and ultimately more hirable, even though, on average, they were no better at the trivia test than their lower-class counterparts,” said Belmi.
The overconfidence effect may be partially due to differences in values between the middle and working classes, according to Belmi.
“In the middle class, people are socialized to differentiate themselves from others, to express what they think and feel and to confidently express their ideas and opinions, even when they lack accurate knowledge. By contrast, working-class people are socialized to embrace the values of humility, authenticity and knowing your place in the hierarchy,” he said.
“These findings challenge the widely held belief that everybody thinks they are better than the average. Our results suggest that this type of thinking might be more prevalent among the middle and upper classes.”
A social/society situation never to be resolved, and rendered mute.
Note the lower, working-class folks are more humble and real, make much-better neighbors…
(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Seated Pierrot,’ found here).