Does Money Make You Mean?
Does Money Make You Mean?
By Susan Weinschenk Ph.D. / psychologytoday.com

When my children were young we used to play the game Monopoly. This was one of my son’s favorite games. And mine. It got to the point where no one would play with us anymore. We were too tough, too ruthless. The games would go on forever because neither he nor I would be willing to compromise or negotiate. “You’re getting mean” my daughter would complain. And it was true. I could feel myself acting differently. 

It turns out that my behavior was predictable. Kathleen Vohs, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota researches the effect that money has on people. She doesn’t even use actual money. It turns out that just the concept of money changes behavior.

In her research studies she gives people sentences to unscramble, some of which have money references, or she has them do tasks in a room where Monopoly money is on the table, or a picture of money is on a screen saver. Then she puts the participants into various situations, for example, someone walking through the room drops a box of pencils, or another (supposed) participant asks for help, or someone requests that the participant donate to a charity.

The findings are always the same. People who are "primed" with the idea of money ask for help less frequently, give help to others less often, donate less money, prefer to work or play alone, and put more physical space between themselves and others.

Dr. Voh concludes that the concept of money leads people to behave self-sufficiently. She defines self-sufficiency as a state where people work harder to attain personal goals, and prefer to be separate from other people.

If you want people to be self-sufficient, then prime them with the idea of, or pictures of, money. If you want people to be collaborative and help others, then avoid the mention of, or pictures of, money.

What do you think? Is money a good incentive to get people to do things or work harder? 

Reference:
Science 314, 1154 (2006), 
Kathleen D. Vohs, et al.
The Psychological Consequences of Money

Susan Weinschenk has a Ph.D. in Psychology and over 30 years experience as a behavioral scientist. She applies research in behavioral science to predict, understand, and explain what motivates people and how they behave. Dr. Weinschenk is the author of several books, including How To Get People To Do Stuff, and 100 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People. Her work includes applying behavioral science to the design of websites, software, medical devices, TV ads, physical devices, experiences, and physical spaces. Her clients include Walmart, Disney, The Mayo Clinic, Charles Schwab, and Best Buy. Her clients call her “The Brain Lady” because she reads and writes about brain and neuro science works. Dr. Weinschenk is the founder of the Team W, and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin.

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
The Daily Show's Trevor Noah Talks With Conservative Host Tomi Lahren
14 min · 10,349 views today · "Tomi" host Tomi Lahren gives her take on the Black Lives Matter movement and explains why she lashed out against Colin Kaepernick for his national anthem protest.
This Short Film Plays Out Like an Epic Movie That Will Shake Your Soul - But the Movie Is Real, and We are The Actors
6 min · 7,130 views today · For next year, we need a resolution capable of confronting the crisis we face, and making a future worth fighting for. This short film looks back on the crisis and confusion...
Bernie Sanders: Carrier Just Showed Corporations How to Beat Donald Trump
Bernie Sanders · 4,498 views today · We need a president who can stand up to big corporations, not fold to their demands.
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 3,606 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Escape! From the Cult of Materialism (2016)
50 min · 3,439 views today · Does the philosophy of materialism work to destroy our identities, experience, and environment? Join narrator Daphne Ellis on a radical romp through the evidence and decide for...
Who's Really to Blame for Fake News? Look in the Mirror, America.
Neal Gabler · 3,027 views today · Consider for a moment the oxymoronic concept of “fake news,” which we have been hearing so much about lately. This isn’t your typical disinformation or misinformation —...
South Koreans Are Really Good at Protesting
2 min · 3,005 views today · South Koreans organize some of the largest and most peaceful protests in the world. Here's what makes them so good at protesting.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 2,529 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Corporate Giants' "Sustainable" Palm Oil Revealed as Sham
Nika Knight · 2,227 views today · Nestlé, Kellogg's, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and others are linked to child labor and forced labor in Indonesia
A Tribe Called Red and Saul Williams Offer a Powerful Prayer for Standing Rock and Beyond
5 min · 1,374 views today · Music video for "The Virus" by A Tribe Called Red, featuring Saul Williams and Chippewa Travellers.
The 6 Grand Illusions That Keep Us Enslaved
Sigmund Fraud · 1,130 views today · For a magician to fool his audience his deceit must go unseen, and to this end he crafts an illusion to avert attention from reality. While the audience is entranced, the...
The Most Mind-Altering Photograph of All Time
4 min · 1,028 views today · Carl Sagan narrates the story of the Pale Blue Dot, the one place we all call home. 
The Truth About the Alt-Right
11 min · 1,026 views today · Our comprehensive investigation into the Alt-Right movement, including its origins, its relation to the Trump campaign and broader implications for the future. Read more: What...
EU Energy Targets Will 'Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions'
Nafeez Ahmed · 849 views today · New renewable energy plan undercuts itself by boosting dangerous wood-burning industries
Why You Should Stop Using Most Antibacterial Soaps
3 min · 837 views today · Antibacterial soaps could be doing a lot more harm than good - here's why.
The Difference Between Empathy and Sympathy
3 min · 835 views today · What is the best way to ease someone's pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 824 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Answering the Call: The American Struggle for the Right to Vote
75 min · 741 views today · Watch an exclusive and limited time online screening of Answering the Call, presented by Films For Action. If you enjoy watching, consider purchasing a DVD copy for a friend at...
How a Land High in the Western Himalayas Can Help Us Understand The Crisis of The Modern World
9 min · 657 views today · This is a clip from The Economics of Happiness. Watch it here. It's a brilliant film that was easy to put at the top of our list of the top 100 documentaries we can use to...
Gabor Mate on the Myth of Normal
4 min · 577 views today · Physician Dr. Gabor Mate began his interview by addressing the 'myth of normal' that divides us into the normal and the abnormal with pathological traits. Dr. Mate mentions...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Does Money Make You Mean?