Posh privilege? Upper class people's 'belief that they are better than others' helps them to find jobs, study finds
This is just another example of the old halo effect. In this case the halo emanates from the fact that a person is in a prestigious position. That tends to suggest other desirable attitudes in the person. I suppose the interesting thing here is the demonstration that the priviliged person himself perceives the halo.
And in this case there is good reason for the effects discussed below. High status persons tend to have higher IQs and IQ does have wide-ranging positive effects. So the privleged person has good grounds for feeling that he will do well on various tests.
So what we have is a demonstration of what Jesus said: "For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance" (Matthew 13:12).
Self confidence is in some ways nearly as advantageous as high IQ
People from higher social classes believe themselves to be more capable than those of lower class, even if they are equally as qualified.
This leads to better outcomes in life-changing scenarios like job interviews as they are more confident than their less-privileged peers due to an inflated sense of self.
In a large scale study, scientists saw this to be true across the board, from business owners to undergraduates.
Dr Peter Belmi of the University of Virginia and lead author of the study, said: '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.'
Researchers from the University of Virginia conducted four separate investigations to look at the connection between social class and overconfidence.
In each study, they discovered that those from higher social classes tended to be more overconfident.
In one study, this overconfidence was shown to be misinterpreted by others as a higher level of competence.
In the biggest study, which involved business owners, researchers obtained information about the individual's income, education level and where they thought they stood in society.
The participants were also required to complete a psychological assessment that rated their self-perception.
'Posh privilege' occurs when people of a higher social class perceive themselves to be better than those of lower classes — even if such is unfounded.
Factors that lead to people developing posh privilege include higher levels of education, greater income and perception of belonging to a better social class.
Others perceive this excess of assuredness as real and deserved confidence.
This leads to better outcomes in life-changing scenarios like job interviews as they are more confident than their less-privileged peers thanks to their inflated sense of self.
In a large-scale study, researchers found that this privilege applied universally — affecting everyone from students to business heads.
One experiment was a flashcard game where individuals were shown an image that disappeared after they press a key, before being replaced by another image.
They then have to determine whether the second image matched the first.
After completing 20 rounds, they were asked to rate how they think they performed compared to others on a scale of 1 to 100.
When the researchers compared the actual scores with the predicted scores, they found that people with more education, more income and a higher perceived social class had greater belief they performed better than others.
Two other groups each with 1,400 online participants found a similar association.
In one, the researchers gave participants a trivia test and those from a higher social class thought that they did better than others.
Again, when the researchers examined actual performance, no difference was found between the social classes based on this belief.
In the last experiment, 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.
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, this overconfidence was interpreted by the judges who watched their videos as greater competence.
'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,' they write in the study.
The study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.