How money affects your brain and your behavior

Affect of Money on Brain and behavior

Money affects. Wealth can make you more immoral, and poverty stupider.

Money affects the brain like drugs

Just looking at the bill for this, of course, is not enough. But if you are in a situation in which, by the will of circumstances, you can gain or lose a certain amount of money, or are in negotiations about them, then brain activity increases. This is especially true for the nucleus accumbens, an area that is part of the reward system and is important for processing motivation and emotions.

Lack of money prevents reasoning

It is believed that people earn little because they are not smart enough. However, scientists were able to prove that the opposite is true. Lack of money makes them make the wrong decisions. Due to the stress caused by financial problems, a person partially loses the ability to process information, analyze the situation and determine priorities.

In the US, researchers asked a group of people to solve a hypothetical problem. To think about how to pay for car repairs. And then they gave several unrelated spatial and logical tasks. It turned out that low-income people did poorly with the task. If it was necessary to pay a lot for repairs, and well, if not enough. High-income subjects were equally successful in both situations.

For the next experiment, the researchers moved to India and asked the farmers to complete several tasks before harvesting, when there was no money, and after. And again, the hypothesis was confirmed.

Scientists have concluded that the more you worry about a difficult financial situation, the fewer resources are left for other things. So it’s better not to make important decisions in conditions when a mouse is hung in the refrigerator and the sole of your favorite sneakers is peeled off. Great risk, that will only get worse.

You can smell a bad offer

In one study, participants were paired. One of them was supposed to offer the terms of the transaction, the other – to accept or reject. Both received money only if they could agree. Logically, the second test would be beneficial to agree to any option to get at least something. However, people from this group rejected half of the proposals, which dealt with small amounts.

The prefrontal cortex is responsible for complex decisions. It was she who worked when the participants heard how much they could get. But if the proposal was unfair, then the activity affected the islet lobe responsible for emotions.

There must be spindle-shaped cells in the islet lobe, as in the stomach. And this digestive organ often responds when it comes to strong emotions. So the injustice of the transaction can be felt simultaneously by the brain and stomach.

Wealth does not allow to see privileges

If you work a lot, you will receive a lot – everything seems logical here. But rich people tend to believe that their earnings are only their merit. At the same time, they willingly write off the factors of chance, luck and other circumstances beyond the control of a person.

This works not only with real money but also with banknotes from “Monopoly”. This game has been ruining families and friendships since 1935. But in the experiment, the conditions were tightened and just gave the pairs of players different rules. One of them did not have a chance to win.

Researchers have recorded how the participants behave. The more a person won, the more rude and tactless he was with other people at the table. He celebrated the victory in advance, during his course loudly clapping a figure on the playing field.

It is worth remembering that well-being can influence how you relate to people. This will not always be true: sometimes the matter is in you, and not in them. Track this moment so as not to turn into an arrogant asshole.

Money affects empathy

Logically continue the previous paragraph. People with lower economic status have a better understanding of what facial expressions mean. This is confirmed by studies of neural empathic reactions.

However, such results do not speak of the special kindness of poor people. It is simply because of their constantly vulnerable position. That being forced to react more acutely to potential social threats. The favorable life of the rich is less dependent on others.

Money affects morality

Representatives of privileged classes are more likely to violate laws and ethical standards. Here it is not only about money but about inequality in general. But finances, of course, affect the situation. Let’s say people inexpensive cars are four times more likely to interfere with other at the crossroads than drivers of cheaper cars. And experimental subjects from the upper classes more often cheated, scammed and more willingly agreed to participate in dubious schemes.

Thoughts about money relieve pain and suffering

In one study participants were asked to lower their hands in a bowl of water heated to 50 ° C. Before that, some of them counted the money, others – just sheets of paper. Subjects from the first group felt much less discomfort than from the second.


Here you can draw two conclusions at once

  1. Do not pay too much attention to money, otherwise, you can forget that there are other aspects of life in which there may be problems.
  2. Money is a good way to get distracted if you are faced with something that bothers you but does not depend on your actions.

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