Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Money and mimicry: Examining the psychological effect of money and how it affects our behavior and emotions

Date:
July 1, 2011
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
We rely on money in our day-to-day life and it is constantly in our minds. After all, money makes the world go round, doesn't it? Now, a new study tries to better understand the psychological effect of money and how it affects our behavior, feelings and emotions.

We rely on money in our day-to-day life and it is constantly in our minds. After all, money makes the world go round, doesn't it? Now, a new study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, tries to better understand the psychological effect of money and how it affects our behavior, feelings and emotions.

Jia Liu, at the University of Groningen, co-wrote the article along with Kathleen Vohs at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota and Dirk Smeesters at the Rotterdam School of Management to explore the relationship between money and mimicry. "The idea of money can activate two motives: autonomous goal striving (being independent and autonomous) and interpersonal insensitivity (indifferent to others). We were interested in which of them dominates when the idea of money is activated," says Liu.

Behavioral mimicry involves taking on the postures, mannerisms, gestures, and motor movements of other people without conscious awareness. Another term for it is non-conscious imitation. It is intimately tied to relationships, liking, and empathy, functioning both as a signal of rapport and as a tool to generate rapport.

According to Liu and her colleagues, previous research in the area of mimicry discovered that if a person is mimicked by someone, they end up liking the other person more than when they are not mimicked. However, Liu and her colleagues were not entirely convinced about the positive effects of mimicry and theorized that mimicry might actually result in negative effects when a person is threatened, especially if they were reminded about something such as money.

To test their theory, 72 students were asked to complete several unrelated tasks. First, they did a filler task on the computer in which the screen's background depicted either pictures of money or shells. Then, in another task, each participant interacted with a colleague and discussed a product. During the conversation, the colleague either unobtrusively mimicked participants' nonverbal behaviors (i.e., matching their postures and gestures after approximately 2 seconds) or did not mimic at all. Finally, participants' feelings of threat were measured and they were asked how much they liked the colleague they had interacted with.

"This study demonstrates money's ability to stimulate a longing for freedom, as money-reminded people perceive the affiliation intention expressed by mimicry to be a threat to their personal freedom, leading them to respond antagonistically in defense. This could have important implications for social bonding and forming interpersonal relationships, as affiliation attempts by others can backfire," states Liu and her colleagues.

Simply put -- people tend to feel threatened and end up disliking those who are trying to bond with them when reminded about money.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Money and mimicry: Examining the psychological effect of money and how it affects our behavior and emotions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110629171241.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2011, July 1). Money and mimicry: Examining the psychological effect of money and how it affects our behavior and emotions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110629171241.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Money and mimicry: Examining the psychological effect of money and how it affects our behavior and emotions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110629171241.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Would A Travel Ban Even Work In Stopping Ebola Spread?

Would A Travel Ban Even Work In Stopping Ebola Spread?

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) The U.S. currently isn't banning travel from Ebola-stricken areas, but it's at least being considered. Some argue though it could be counterproductive. 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


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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