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      Social class, solipsism, and contextualism: How the rich are different from the poor.

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          Abstract

          Social class is shaped by an individual's material resources as well as perceptions of rank vis-à-vis others in society, and in this article, we examine how class influences behavior. Diminished resources and lower rank create contexts that constrain social outcomes for lower-class individuals and enhance contextualist tendencies--that is, a focus on external, uncontrollable social forces and other individuals who influence one's life outcomes. In contrast, abundant resources and elevated rank create contexts that enhance the personal freedoms of upper-class individuals and give rise to solipsistic social cognitive tendencies--that is, an individualistic focus on one's own internal states, goals, motivations, and emotions. Guided by this framework, we detail 9 hypotheses and relevant empirical evidence concerning how class-based contextualist and solipsistic tendencies shape the self, perceptions of the social environment, and relationships to other individuals. Novel predictions and implications for research in other socio-political contexts are considered. Copyright 2012 APA, all rights reserved.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Psychological Review
          Psychological Review
          American Psychological Association (APA)
          1939-1471
          0033-295X
          2012
          2012
          : 119
          : 3
          : 546-572
          Article
          10.1037/a0028756
          22775498
          648874db-ab30-48f4-9d36-e439aeaca766
          © 2012
          Product
          Self URI (article page): http://doi.apa.org/getdoi.cfm?doi=10.1037/a0028756

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