“Those with the most power in society seem to pay particularly little attention to those with the least power.”
…Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at Berkeley, and Michael W. Kraus, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, have done much of the research on social power and the attention deficit.
Mr. Keltner suggests that, in general, we focus the most on those we value most.
While the wealthy can hire help, those with few material assets are more likely to value their social assets: like the neighbor who will keep an eye on your child from the time she gets home from school until the time you get home from work.
The financial difference ends up creating a behavioral difference.
Poor people are better attuned to interpersonal relations — with those of the same strata, and the more powerful — than the rich are, because they have to be.
While Mr. Keltner’s research finds that the poor, compared with the wealthy, have keenly attuned interpersonal attention in all directions,
in general, those with the most power in society seem to pay particularly little attention to those with the least power.
To be sure, high-status people do attend to those of equal rank — but not as well as those low of status do.
This has profound implications for societal behavior and government policy. Tuning in to the needs and feelings of another person is a prerequisite to empathy, which in turn can lead to understanding, concern and, if the circumstances are right, compassionate action.
EQ IQ emotional intelligence