Hi Grace Marguerite Williams! How's it going?
Are the rich "considered to be overall smarter, worthier, more savvy, educated, [and] respected"? By whom are they considered to be all of those things?
And as for being "unlikely to be taken advantage of," try telling that to the wealthy victims of Bernie Madoff's pyramid "investment" scheme. The news magazine television program, Frontline, did an episode called "The Madoff Affair." It aired on May 7, 2009.
The program revealed a tragic low point. There was a member of the old European aristocracy that killed himself over the guilt he felt for recommending the Madoff investment vehicle to everybody he knew, friends and family, people with millions of dollars, many of whom were "wiped out."
Is there some kind of "scientific study" that shows that rich people are less susceptible to being "taken advantage of" than poor people.
It is not even certain that the rich are necessarily "overall more educated" than the poor. To measure than, if possible, you have to take into account the immigrant population---who were frequently doctors in their home countries, but wind up driving a cab the rest of their lives when they come to America, due to certain barriers. For further reading on that, I would refer you to a free online book by economist, Dean Baker, who talks about this process of effectively stripping immigrants of their professional credentials, so as to not put downward pressure on wages of sectors of the white collar sector.
Anyway, the books is "The Conservative Nanny State: How The Wealthy Use The Government To Stay Rich And Get Richer." You want to look at Chapter One: Doctors and Dishwashers: How the Nanny State Creates Good Jobs for Those at the Top.
Finally, you ask: "Why are the rich seen as superior while the poor are thought to be inferior in terms of status?"
Because everyone would rather be rich than poor.