A thought-provoking and unique look at status, inequality and the psychology behind it.
'A persuasive and highly readable account of how rising inequality, and not just absolute poverty, is undermining our politics, social cohesion, long-term prosperity and general well-being' Barack Obama
Inequality makes us feel poor and act poor, even when we're not. It affects our mood, decision-making and even our immune systems. Using groundbreaking research in psychology and neuroscience, Keith Payne explains how inequality shapes our world and influences our thinking, how we perform at work and respond to stress - and what we can do to combat its most insidious effects on our lives.
'Eye-opening' Susan Cain, author of Quiet
'Important, timely and beautifully written' Adam Atler, author of Irresistible
Keith Payne is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As an international leader in the psychology of inequality and discrimination, his research has been featured in THE ATLANTIC, THE NEW YORK TIMES and on NPR, and he has written for SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN and PSYCHOLOGY TODAY.
A persuasive and highly readable account of how rising inequality, and not just absolute poverty, is undermining our politics, social cohesion, long-term prosperity and general well-being — Barack Obama
Keith Payne has written an eye-opening book with profound resonance for the state of our world. We all know that income inequality has dire economic and societal consequences, but THE BROKEN LADDER shows that it has deep psychological impact too, affecting our decision-making, our mood and our health. A thoughtful look - and a rallying cry - into the way our environment shapes us all — Susan Cain author of QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING
THE BROKEN LADDER's examination of the consequences of inequality - of what it is like to be poor and to feel poor - is as profound as it is revelatory. Keith Payne is a lovely, graceful writer. Replete with gems of research studies, insights and illuminating examples and implications, this book will change the way you think about your world — Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of THE HOW OF HAPPINESS
THE BROKEN LADDER is an important, timely and beautifully written account of how inequality affects us all. Though it surely plagues the poorest and most vulnerable members of society, Keith Payne expertly and engagingly shows that it also touches the wealthy and privileged. Payne marshals the cutting edge in psychology and neuroscience research to explain how inequality influences our political and religious beliefs, how we perform at work, and how we respond to stress and physical threats - and how we can combat its most insidious effects on our lives — Adam Alter, author of IRRESISTIBLE: WHY WE CAN'T STOP CHECKING, SCROLLING, CLICKING AND WATCHING
Brilliant ... [A]n important, fascinating read arguing that inequality creates a public health crisis ... Payne challenges a common perception that the real problem isn't inequality but poverty, and he's persuasive that societies are shaped not just by disadvantage at the bottom but also by inequality across the spectrum — Nicholas Kristof, NEW YORK TIMES
Authoritative, thought provoking, accessible and well worth a spot on your summer reading list ... Payne embraces the egalitarian view that inequality of income is problem in and of itself-economically, morally, politically ... While we have come to understand that a society can suffer from having either too much inequality or too little, the challenge now is identifying and getting to that sweet spot in between — Steven Pearlstein, WASHINGTON POST
Keith Payne, professor of psychology and neuroscience, weaves strands of memoir into THE BROKEN LADDER, which accepts inequality of income as a problem but then goes on explain how it affects our mood, decision making and even our immune systems — THE BIG ISSUE