Social class and social worlds: Income predicts the frequency and nature of social contact

Emily C. Bianchi, Kathleen D. Vohs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Does access to money predict social behavior? Past work has shown that money fosters self-sufficiency and reduces interest in others. Building on this work, we tested whether income predicts the frequency and type of social interactions. Two studies using large, nationally representative samples of Americans (N=118,026) and different measures of social contact showed that higher household income was associated with less time spent socializing with others (Studies 1 and 2) and more time spent alone (Study 2). Income also predicted the nature of social contact. People with higher incomes spent less time with their families and neighbors and spent more time with their friends. These findings suggest that income is associated with how and with whom people spend their time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-486
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Volume7
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.

Keywords

  • Income
  • Money
  • Social class
  • Social connections
  • Social support

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