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New Study Shows The Upper-Class People Think They’re Better Than Others

This Study Confirms Assumptions Of Upper-Class People Upper-class people think they’re smarter and more capable than people from more modest backgrounds, even if it’s not true. A study by...

(Photo Credit: Rex Features)

This Study Confirms Assumptions Of Upper-Class People

Upper-class people think they’re smarter and more capable than people from more modest backgrounds, even if it’s not true. A study by the University of Virginia found that people born to wealthier families tend to overestimate their abilities in comparison to others, and this is true for both college students and business owners.

“The researchers gave participants a trivia test and those from a higher social class thought that they did better than others,” The Daily Mail reports. “Again, when the researchers examined actual performance, no difference was found between the social classes based on this belief.”

Although upper-class people didn’t actually score higher on tests of mental ability, their inflated confidence can give them an advantage in the workplace, researchers found. Upper-class people who overestimated their abilities tended to come across as more professional and capable in mock job interviews, which were then scored by judges as part of the study.

“In the last experiment, the researcher recruited 236 undergraduate students, and asked them to complete a 15-item trivia quiz and predict how they scored compared with others. They were also asked to rate their social class and their families’ income and their parents’ education levels,” The Daily Mail reports. “A week later, the students were brought back to the lab for a videotaped mock hiring interview. More than 900 judges, recruited online, each watched one of the videos and rated their impression of the applicant’s competence. Not only were the higher social class students more confident, but this overconfidence was also interpreted by the judges who watched their videos as greater competence.”

The researchers said that “privilege begets privilege” in many instances.

“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 Dr. Peter Belmi, the lead author of the study.

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