How to ease the pain of payment. 7 studies on the psychology of finance

    We at UBANK owe a duty of interest to everything related to the world of money, including the psychology of finance. And they decided that sometimes it would not be a sin to share with you information about the most interesting scientific experiments and discoveries in this area. After all, they are often not only entertaining, but also useful. Money directs our actions and determines the way of thinking. Depending on how our consciousness perceives the same amount, it can be ineptly squandered, or it can become the basis of strategic savings. Western researchers are sweating their faces to deal with all this. And this is what they found.



    There is a connection between chatter about money, mentality and actions of people, at least it was establishedHarvard researchers with the University of Utah School of Business, David Eccles. Psychologists and linguists studied the reaction and subsequent actions of college students who took part in the experiment. During the role-playing games, one group was offered financially oriented phrases (“She spends money freely”), and the other neutral ones (“She walked along the grass”). Representatives of the first group, unlike the second, showed themselves not from the best side: they bargained, cheated, agreed to all kinds of dubious deals with conscience - like getting a good position during the game of employment in exchange for promises to knock and share insider information. And why? People are more likely to lie or make immoral decisions under the influence of words directly or indirectly associated with money. Talking about money makes us self-centered, ignoring professional ethics and simple human decency, "even if we are positive and believe that we can distinguish good from bad," as recognized by Christine Smith-Crow, one of the participants in the study. In general, it’s better to make money - and spend it. But talk about them is not worth it.


    The less we know about the mechanics of our payments — how they occur and what they break up into, taking into account commissions, interest on a loan (if we are talking about a credit card), etc. — the more we spend. In other words, the ease of parting with money is determined by the degree of opacity of expenses. A positive correlation is proved by a series of experiments conducted by the Rotman Business School at the University of Toronto. The author Dilip Soman uses the term “pain of paying”, coined back in the mid-1990s by Israeli consumer behavior expert Offer Zellermeier. If something is able to dull this “pain”, then only our weak awareness of where the money is flowing.


    Money is not always spent equally. Of course, if you get by with credit cards and rarely resort to cache, the conclusion of the study is almost not relevant to you.professors from the Canadian University of Guelf and the University of Winnipeg. But in other cases, it is quite applicable: the appearance of money affects our expenses. Dirty money - literally worn, experienced bills that have passed through many hands - go noticeably faster than new pieces of paper. At one stage of the study, the subjects were given $ 20 each with the opportunity to spend them in the store. Old bills went away, new ones were not so willingly spent. Also, the authors of the work noticed: dirty, wrinkled, sometimes torn at the edges bills affect financial behavior in the sense that they push us at a greater risk (subconsciously we want to get rid of them faster) - for example, the risk of squancing them at the playing table.



    Imagine that you received a salary from which you deducted the money corresponding to the taken time off, but then part of this deduction - for example, $ 1000 - was returned to your account due to the fact that you still worked at that time and the accounting department turned this circumstance in your favor. Another situation: you didn’t do anything, but the same $ 1000 was in your account on the orders of superiors - as a reward for selfless work on vacation. In the first case, you get something like a recalculation, and in the second - a bonus. The amount is the same, but we perceive it differently and will spend it differently, the study saysHarvard and the University of Chicago. The “recalculation” must remain with you if you are prone to savings, but the “bonus” is likely to be wasted. “All incomes increase the absolute wealth of a person, but consumer decisions can be based more on perceived changes in wealth,” the authors emphasize.

    5. TIME - MONEY

    Hourly pay is likely to deprive you of the desire to do something on a voluntary basis and on a voluntary basis. Monthly? You are not lost for volunteer programs or any other activities that do not involve earnings. And all because in the first case, the study claimsStanford University and Rothman Business School at the University of Toronto, time is becoming a category of economics. Literally: time (every hour) is money that you don’t want to give to anyone. Whereas in the second case, time does not have a rigid attachment to money, accordingly, a person disposes of it more freely or even frivolously. “People who get paid by the hour usually have more opportunities to trade their time than those who get a fixed monthly salary,” the authors argue. And this means that time that does not bring money will be considered the first category of inept use, wasted.



    Clients leave good tips in restaurants often in order to appear more generous than they are (in their own eyes, or in the eyes of friends, colleagues, and other fellow travelers). Regardless of the size of the tip, the staff, however, takes the extra reward for granted, and therefore does not always provide the intended level of service. Therefore, tips in general have little to do with rational financial behavior, according toresearchers of this phenomenon from Cornell University. Estimates of the quality of service for experiment participants who went to restaurants and reported in detail on the results varied significantly more than the tip size. People simply left some standard amount, because they were used to leaving it, equally rewarding both for excellent, and for tolerable, and even terrible service. And this is really pointless.


    Love spending money on your loved ones? In this case, you will not be as happy as you could, assureauthors of a study by Harvard Business School and experts from Canadian University of British Columbia. From the very name of the work it’s clear why British-Colombian scientists worked: “Spending money on others promotes happiness” (which in the literary translation may sound in Russian as “spending money on others, you will make yourself happier”). What is especially nice, it's not about the amount of expenses. The results of the experiments clearly indicated that the meager amounts - even less than $ 5, cut from our budget plans and spent on someone else - could also change the mood balance, like expensive and pretentious gifts that leave gaping gaps in the budget . Spending money on others will make us feel a little happier than usual. At least for a few hours on a single day. And a little happiness - isn't that a reason to fork out? At least you can relax a bit and stop thinking about money for a while.

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