Monetary Cognition

by F.

In The Psychological Consequences of Money, Kathleen Vohs et al. describe the results of their experiments showing that

money brings about a self-sufficient orientation in which people prefer to be free of dependency and dependents.

Reminders of money, relative to nonmoney reminders, led to reduced requests for help and reduced helpfulness toward others.

Relative to participants primed with neutral concepts, participants primed with money preferred to play alone, work alone, and put more physical distance between themselves and a new acquaintance….

As countries and cultures developed, money may have allowed people to acquire goods and services that enabled the pursuit of cherished goals, which in turn diminished reliance on friends and family. In this way, money enhanced individualism but diminished communal motivations, an effect that is still apparent in people’s responses to money today.

The paper was published in the November 17th issue of Science.