March 23, 2009 10:20 PM
Money and Behavior
A friend of mine--another EEP Major--forwarded me an article he came across on newscientist.com. It touches on insights from Psychology and Economics (or Behavioral Economics) as well as Neuroscience research and explains their implications in regards to our behavior. An interesting finding from one of the studies reveals, by way of brain imaging, that different parts of the brain dominate in individuals who desire instant gratification versus those who are willing to wait--even when the expected payoff (in monetary terms) is higher when waiting. This may seem like an obvious finding, but it provides some evidence to the hypothesis of money being potentially addictive and, more to the point, serves as another explanation as to why some people have unhealthy and obsessive attitudes towards money, which has been found to be associated with low(er) scores on indicators of mental health in individuals who are strongly motivated by these "extrinsic aspirations." Individuals who desired the instant gratification showed increased brain activity in the limbic system, which has been shown to be linked to impulsive behavior and drug addiction. You can read the article here: Why Money Messes With Your Mind.
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