You didn't build that: why remembering your good fortune can be good for you and others

May 2017

Life is shaped by factors beyond a person's control -- unearned advantages and undeserved disadvantages. But how much someone recognizes that often depends on whether they've benefited from or been hindered by those external factors, according to research by Paul Piff, assistant professor of psychology and social behavior.

In short: people who have benefited from positive advantages are less likely to see how external factors have shaped others' lives. However, if they do acknowledge that hard work and effort aren't the only things that determine success, then they're also likelier to see how discrimination and unfair circumstances can hinder others.

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