The high-end shopper may lack high-end morals.
As reported by Fortune, social scientists at Paris Descartes University and University of Southern Brittany reported that “the mere presence of luxury goods seems to make passersby uncharitable.”
The tell? Shoppers in higher-end retail locations are less likely to stop their activity to help needy strangers than those shoppers in less-chic locales. Paris was the playground here, as undergrad women acted as people in distress at venues as high-end as Dior and Chanel. The act involved getting about on crutches but dropping items seemingly by accident, asking to borrow a cell phone or asking for supervision of a wheelchair-bound companion (also an actor).
The findings? At less-upscale retailers, roughly 78 percent of passersby helped. At the higher-end shops, only 35 percent did. The researchers said that empathy might be lacking in the wake of materialism.