When being asked what is the number one thing that holds people back from having a gratifying life, many people may say, "being not grateful."
Yes, if you are grateful for nothing, it's like no matter what you do, life simply will not get better. You want more friends, more money, more status, and it seems that you can never ever have enough.
Then, guess who has a greater desire for wealth and status: those who are wealthier, or those who are poorer? The latest study can give you the answer.
About the study
In the study, more than 175,000 people were asked to rate statements such as "One of my life goals is to be a rich person" and "I want to have high status in society." The researchers also surveyed the participants' social class, annual income and education.
It turns out that wealthier individuals are more likely to want more wealth and higher status despite needing it. It's the first time that a study examines how social class affects people's desire for wealth and status.
What the results tell
The study results suggest that wealthier people are more eager to gain material rewards and position than those poorer people in order to maintain their social status.
"There is a self-reinforcing cycle of social class whereby the wealthy — because they define themselves by wealth and status — seek to achieve more wealth and status, which maintains the status quo or enhances economic inequality," said one of the co-authors, Professor Jolanda Jetten.
The results also suggest that wealthier people should take responsibility for the rising economic inequality.
"That suggests economic inequality should not only be attributed to the inadequate aspirations of lower-class individuals to seek wealth and status, but also to the insatiable desire among the rich to amass more," said the project leader, Zhechen Wang.