Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Instead Of Counting Blessings, Count Money To Feel Good

Date:
July 16, 2009
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
When we are feeling blue we are told to count our blessings, but according to a new study counting our money might be a more useful activity.

When we are feeling blue we are told to count our blessings, but according to a study recently published in Psychological Science, counting our money might be a more useful activity. Psychologists Xinyue Zhou, Sun Yat-Sen University, Kathleen D. Vohs, University of Minnesota, and Roy F. Baumeister, Florida State University, investigated the psychological, physical and social impact of money.

Related Articles


To examine this, the researchers asked one group of participants to count out eighty $100 bills and another group to count eighty worthless pieces of paper. They then played a computerized ball-tossing game called Cyperball. The participants were led to believe that they were playing with three other gamers when the other players in fact were computer generated. Some participants received the ball an equal amount of times while other participants were excluded. Out of the participants excluded in the Cyperball game, those who had counted the money rated lower social distress than those who only counted paper.

In another experiment, the scientists asked participants to immerse their fingers in hot water for 30 seconds after they counted either money or paper. Surprisingly, those counting money rated a lower intensity of the hot water and physical pain than those who counted paper. In addition, the researchers found that participants who counted out the bills rated themselves as feeling "strong" more often than the paper counting group.

Adding a twist to the experiment, the scientists asked a group of participants to list their monetary expenditures from the past month and another group to list weather conditions in the past month. Both groups were then put through the Cyperball game and the physical pain test. Those who thought about the weather rated normal amounts of social distress or pain; those thinking about their finances experienced higher social distress when they were left out of the Cyperball game and reported greater pain from the hot water.

As the psychologists concluded, "The mere idea of money has considerable psychological power, enough to alter reactions to social exclusion and even to physical pain."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zhou et al. The Symbolic Power of Money: Reminders of Money Alter Social Distress and Physical Pain. Psychological Science, 2009; 20 (6): 700 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02353.x

Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Instead Of Counting Blessings, Count Money To Feel Good." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090715131549.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2009, July 16). Instead Of Counting Blessings, Count Money To Feel Good. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090715131549.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Instead Of Counting Blessings, Count Money To Feel Good." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090715131549.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2015) Each week, millions of Americans take acetaminophen to dull minor aches and pains. Now researchers say it might blunt life&apos;s highs and lows, too. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins