Does having more money make a person more inclined to share their wealth with others and acknowledge their good fortune? No. Research suggests precisely the opposite.
One experiment by psychologists at the University of California, Irvine, invited pairs of strangers to play a rigged Monopoly game where a coin flip designated one player rich and one poor. The rich players received twice as much money as their opponent to begin with; as they played the game, they got to roll two dice instead of one and move around the board twice as fast as their opponent; when they passed “Go,” they collected $200 to their opponent’s $100.
Now did the inevitable winners ascribe their winning to good luck—to their head start in the game? No. Instead, they believed they deserved their money and the others deserved their fate. The winners had no empathy for the losers.
I must say I don’t find this surprising. Consider, for example, how we have a word for when we fail at something perhaps because of bad luck—excuse. Failing to arrive on time may really have been because of an accident on the freeway or an inordinate amount of traffic. Perhaps the dog really did eat my homework. Why don’t I play professional basketball? My excuse is that I wasn’t born with the genes that in large part would have allowed me to.
Notice though we don’t have a word to eliminate credit. We might use that word for situations where we achieved something because we were, in large part, lucky. Instead, we usually say that we achieved because we were smart, perseverant, amiable, or we were just winners. We tend to take credit for our successes but not for our failures.
If interested here is the TED Talk b the social psychologist Paul Piff sharing his research into how people behave when they feel wealthy.