Subtle Reminders of Money Change People's Behavior



Money plays a significant role in people’s lives and yet little experimental attention has been given to the psychological underpinnings of money. We systematically varied whether or to what extent the concept of money was activated in participants’ minds using methods that minimized participants’ conscious awareness of the money cues. More than 20 experiments have found significant changes in responding after being reminded of money. On the one hand, participants reminded of money were less helpful than were participants not reminded of money, and they also preferred solitary activities and less physical intimacy On the other hand, reminders of money prompted participants to work harder on challenging tasks and led to desires to take on more work as compared to participants not reminded of money. Moreover, new work shows that being reminded of money made painful experiences (putting one's hand in hot water; being socially rejected) less painful. In short, even subtle reminders of money elicit big changes human experience and behavior.
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Dr. S. Puntoni