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Wealthy Have Difficulty Detecting Emotions: Study

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Rich people don't choose to be rude. They simply can't help it.

Affluent people -- in terms of income, social status and education -- have trouble detecting others' emotions, a study in Psychological Science found. While lower-class people are generally skilled at figuring out what other people are feeling, their upper-class fellows are more insensitive.

The wealthy don't need to rely on others for help, the study determined, and so their people skills have atrophied.

"They're less concerned and less perceptive of other people's needs and wishes," said study co-author Michael Kraus, according to MSNBC. "They show a deficit in empathic accuracy."

In the study, people with more education and from wealthier backgrounds had more difficulty interpreting pictures of faces. While "lower-class" people tended to correctly identify emotions, "upper-class" people had trouble.

Even as they will likely enjoy extended tax cuts under the Obama administration's deal, the nation's wealthy won't be well equipped to share their delight.

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