WHO AMONG US has not felt the affront? Macadamia nuts arrive in a bag, not on a dish, and something shrivels in the soul. Are we animals? Did we execute the challenging task of being born insanely wealthy only to eat in-flight snacks from a bag? We did not. And that is why, when Korean Air heiress Cho Hyun-ah was confronted by a bag of nuts on a flight out of New York in December 2014, she became enraged and forced the plane back to the gate. Now forty-one, Cho, daughter of the airline’s chairman, Cho Yang-ho, was charged with offences including assault and obstructing an airline captain in performance of his duties.
Cho was expected to serve ten months in prison; however, after an appeal, the sentence was suspended, and Cho was released on the condition that she not commit another crime in the next two years. Many observers consider the sentences too light, given the rampant nepotism and privilege enjoyed by second- and third-generation members of South Korea’s business elite. “If she were considerate to people, if she didn’t treat employees like slaves, if she could have controlled her emotion,” the chief judge said, “this case would not have happened.” But consider the deeper truth of the matter: it was not really her fault.
The psychologist Paul K. Piff has shown that there is a reliable correlation between wealth and inconsiderate behaviour. Wealthy people are more likely to exhibit rudeness in cars, take more than equal shares of available goods, and think they deserve special treatment. Cho is just a spectacular example of what happens daily at any airport. When the sheer luck of the birthright lottery is converted via psychological magic into a sense of entitlement, expectations of special treatment are predictable. Piff has coined a memorable label for the phenomenon: the asshole effect.
More here – The Walrus