Money Is Serious

Finances are on everyone’s mind this week.  Consider that just hearing money mentioned changes our behavior dramatically:

Participants reminded of money were less helpful than were participants not reminded of money, and they also preferred solitary activities and less physical intimacy. On the other hand, reminders of money prompted participants to work harder on challenging tasks and led to desires to take on more work as compared to participants not reminded of money.

It seems we’ll all be working harder, and getting less, this week.  And I guess I should take my wife’s frequent money reminders as indicating she’d rather I worked harder even if that makes me less helpful, social, and intimate. 

This seems another important clue to understanding seriousness vs. silliness.

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  • http://hanson.gmu.edu Robin Hanson

    Perhaps by reminding people of money, this post got them to work harder and not socialize via commenting on blog posts? 🙂

  • http://www.iphonefreak.com frelkins

    Is this perhaps behind the origin of the rule that in polite society one never mentions money at social functions?

  • Lara Foster

    Stupid money. No matter how much more of it we seem to get, we could always use more. Stupid Hanson, reminding us of Stupid money… *grumbles in a corner by herself pensively, and actually starts studying*

  • http://shagbark.livejournal.com Phil Goetz

    Ascetics who wish to escape material considerations also prefer solitary activities and less physical intimacy. Maybe a lot of that time spent sitting in a cave thinking about God is really spent thinking about how they’re not thinking about money.