Christine Calo Posted 2 months ago Paul Piff: Does money make you mean? Noticed there’s some criticism in the simplicity of the study and the finer details of how the study was conducted. However, in spite of this the most important aspect to take away from the talk is that it triggers and draws more awareness of what the bigger problem at hand is. It’s not unknown that societies that have large and growing gaps in wealth and status, have significant social problems and declining indicators of well-being and happiness. It’s not an improbable notion that social disparity, economic inequality invokes negative human traits such as greed, elitism, self-focus/absorption. Furthermore, that these traits consequently cause decreases in compassion, altruism and forms unethical behaviour which is gravely damaging to our social structure. However, talks like these provide more recognition and illumination to what could be the possible causes to these social problems. More understanding can lead to making changes or elimination of the systems that promote these problems. Noticed there also was some criticism on Piff’s endorsement on small psychological interventions can restore levels of egalitarianism and empathy. The criticism was that these “small nudges” in the right direction is not enough to change anything. However, I do believe that behaviours such as ‘empathy’ that endorse cooperation, (as found in ‘tit for tat’ theory) is a much more evolutionary stable strategy and forms social cohesion. Empathic sociability is a positive step in the right direction. I recommend watching TED talk Jeremy Rifkin: The empathic civilization. Rifkin states, “If we can harness our empathic sensibility to establish a new global ethic that recognizes and acts to harmonize the many relationships that make up the life-sustaining forces of the planet, we will have moved beyond the detached, self-interested and utilitarian philosophical assumptions that accompanied national markets and nation state governance and into a new era of biosphere consciousness."