Monday, February 05, 2007

Are personal finance bloggers mean people?

Bankrate.com asks "Does money make you mean?" They find that a behavioral study points out that people with money on their minds are less helpful, less considerate and less willing to ask for help or associate with others than those who have not been "preconditioned" when it comes to money. The positive side to this behavior is that money-minded people tend to be more independent, focused and tend to work longer on tasks before asking for help.

A recent issue of "Science Magazine" published the study called "The Psychological Consequences of Money." They used random samples of students and nonstudents at the University of Minnesota, Florida State University and the University of British Columbia. After the groups were separated, some groups were "money primed" and the others received a "neutral primer" to money. The "money primed" group was reminded of money in several ways...

word scramble puzzle that contained money references, a poster depicting different currencies, stacks of play money or tokens, or reading an essay that mentioned money.


Some of the experiments and results...

In the first two experiments, subjects were given a puzzle and told that help was available for the asking, either from the experimenter or a peer who had just completed the exercise. Result: The money-prime participants waited significantly longer than control subjects to ask for help.


In the final three experiments, money-prime participants placed more physical distance between themselves and a participant partner, preferred solitary to group leisure activities and more frequently chose to work alone rather than with a peer compared to the control participants.


After the 9 experiments they didn't quite find that they were mean, more like "socially clueless"

"We didn't find any animosity; it was more of a sense of social cluelessness. They're not mindful of other people. We don't have any indication that they were being rude to these people. It was more 'I can't help you' or 'I don't know how to help you.' Granted, being helpful would be a nicer thing to do, but the intention wasn't to be selfish or mean; they just didn't see that they had a role in this person's life."


So, do any of you notice this type of behavior in yourselves, or among other peers with the same "conditioning" or mindset? I know I'm guilty of a few...

3 comments:

Madame X said...

Yikes... I can be that way sometimes. Interesting post!

1mil said...

Just take a look at people who drive mercedes. They are almost always jerks. That's a generalization but tell me when have you not seen someone in a mercedes driving like an ass?

Marshall Middle is making a million dollars said...

Depends on the person. I think some people are changed by money, others stay grounded