How Money Can Change People And Affect Their Behavior

To go from poverty to wealth is essentially the American dream. Whether it’s for a better paying job or to win the lottery, some studies suggest that money can change your behavior, and not always for the better. Of course, there are a lot of rich, charitable and helpful people. However, the results of some studies have shown that they can be the exception rather than the rule.

Your thoughts, behavior, and actions are tied to your psychology, which is made up of a number of factors ranging from your genetic makeup to how you were brought up. While money doesn’t exactly shape your belief system, it can influence the way you think and act toward others. Understanding the influence that money – or the lack of it – can have on your behavior can make you more aware of when it is pulling the strings and hopefully help you learn how to stop it.

How money affects behaviour

From how you relate to how you see yourself, money can seriously influence your beliefs. There is a lot of scientific evidence behind the idea that money can really change people.

1. Social and commercial value

A 2004 study showed that money changes the way you value your time and effort. Researchers James Heyman and Dan Ariely created an experiment by which they were able to measure a person’s motivation to complete a task based on money. Subjects were asked to drag circles on a computer screen. One group has been asked to do this as a “favor”. Another group was asked to do it for $ 0.50, and the last group was offered $ 5. After timing the objects, it was actually the group that was asked to perform the task as a favor that did it. faster. Next was the $ 5 group and the last was the $ 0.50 group.

Heyman and Ariely assumed that there are two motivations for accomplishing a given task. The first is social. Recognizing the social value of a task, we see it as an investment of valuable time and part of our social duty, and we are generally happy to help. However, when money is offered as a motivation, we start to think less about the social aspect and more about the business value. So we compared our time to the monetary reward, which is perhaps why the $ 0.50 group was the slowest – they just thought their time and effort was worth more money.

Obviously, money can be a motivator when it comes to determining value. While doing something for free as a favor has a positive connotation, that part of the brain actually shuts down when money is introduced. This could have serious repercussions on your professional life. If you feel you deserve more money, you risk under-performing as a result.

2. Self-sufficiency and service

Those who are concerned about money usually strive to be more self-reliant than those for whom money is not a priority, at least that is what a Yale School of Management study found. 2009. The study was structured around Monopoly money. A group of topics entered a room containing various money reminders, such as Monopoly money on the table, statements about money, and even financial conversations. The second group of subjects entered a room where money was not mentioned, and both were put to a test.

When given a very difficult, if not impossible, task with instructions that help was available, it was the money-related group that seemed most determined to do the job on their own, even when they were not. It was not possible to complete the task alone. The penniless group, on the other hand, tended to ask for help. The study found that people who care about money are more independent than their peers, especially when their focus is on money.

The Yale study continued to measure how money affected a person’s behavior using the same groups to illustrate compassion and service in money-conscious subjects and those in a money-less environment. When a seemingly uninvolved person stumbled across a stack of files and pencils and then dropped them, it was the group that couldn’t remember the money that came in most helpful. The money-conscious group was less likely to offer and ask for help with a mission.

3. Self-view

The amount you earn can have an effect on how you perceive yourself and others. A study published in an August 2013 issue of the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” asked people to rate things like class, genetics, and even IQ. When the results were analyzed, they were defined as the individual sense of “class essentialism” – the idea that class differences are based on identity and genetics, rather than circumstance.

The richest respondents were those with the deepest sense of class essentialism. The poor tended to believe that class was not related to genes, that basically anyone can be rich and anyone can be poor. The wealthy, on the other hand, were more likely to believe that wealth is part of genes and identity, that they are entitled to wealth based on their personal circumstances and actions. Rich respondents also believed that life is more or less fair and that people mainly get what they deserve.

4. Ethics

When you do your taxes, do you report them perfectly or do you think it’s okay to fiddle with the numbers a bit? A 2012 study published in an issue of the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America” ​​asked whether wealth and perception of an upper class could increase an individual’s involvement in a society. unethical behavior.

From cutting another vehicle at a stop sign, cheating at a game, taking more candy than offered, the richest topics were the ones most likely to break the rules, even when a research result indicated that taking more candy for kids . . Study authors Paul K. Piff et al. Noted that those who perceived themselves in an upper class were the most likely to engage in unethical behavior, especially when a symbol of wealth was introduced, like cutting off to a pedestrian. in a luxury car, for example.

The study called the behavior “self-interest maximization,” an idea that suggests that those with more money or higher classes are more likely to accept a “what’s in there for.” me ? attitude. They actively work to get the most out of themselves These people make great business leaders, the study notes, because they are often the ones who work the hardest to get the most out of a contract or business. ‘a job.

5. Dependency

Many addictions start because a person gets a positive response from a certain type of behavior. Whether it’s a feeling of happiness you get while shopping or an emotion related to gambling, actively seeking out that behavior over and over again to achieve the same result can trigger addiction. This is called “behavioral or process addiction,” a compulsive behavior that is not motivated by addiction to an addictive substance, but rather by a process that leads to an apparently positive outcome.

Earning money can be very addicting for some people. A check as high as a well-filled savings account can become the only goal in the life of a wealth seeker, as clinical psychologist Dr Tian Dayton warned. He warns that the positive feeling that follows money can trigger a chemical reaction in the brain that makes you feel good. In turn, this can lead to serious worries about money and strain relationships apart from those related to earning more.

Last word

It doesn’t matter if you were born rich or if you won the lottery, money can affect how you act, and some of these effects can be inherently negative. Yet by being aware of the social dangers of wealth, such as lack of compassion, class conflict, isolation, and a deterioration in ethics, you can protect yourself against some of the negative aspects of money. Committing to volunteering, donating funds to a charity of your choice, and expanding your social circle to include friends of varying income levels can help you do something positive and get the most out of your life. silver.

While there is plenty of evidence that money changes people, your mileage can vary. There are a number of socio-economic factors that could skew the study results, including age, race, level of education, location, and personal attitudes towards money. It’s true that being seen as “rich” can change the way you think, but it can’t change your genetics, your identity, your propensity to work hard, or your family background. Ultimately, your ideals and values ​​probably determine more about you than the size of your salary.

Do you think money changes people?

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