Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Socioeconomic status as child dictates response to stress as adult

Date:
July 6, 2011
Source:
University of Minnesota
Summary:
When faced with threat, people who grew up poor are more likely to make risky financial choices in search of a quick windfall, according to new research.

When faced with threat, people who grew up poor are more likely to make risky financial choices in search of a quick windfall, according to new research from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.

Published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, "The Influence of Mortality and Socioeconomic Status on Risk and Delayed Rewards: A Life History Approach" by Carlson School assistant professor of marketing Vladas Griskevicius found that people respond to feeling threatened differently depending on whether people grew up in relatively resource-scarce or resource-plentiful environments.

The studies, which built upon earlier research on how mortality cues influence reproductive timings, found those who grew up resource deprived or felt poor were more likely to take risks for immediate rewards when they felt threatened. Subjects who were raised in a more predictable world never worrying about their needs responded to the same stressors by becoming more cautious.

"You can have two people who appear identical, but if they see that the world is a dangerous place such as by seeing news coverage of a new terrorist attack, they'll diverge in how they respond," Griskevicius says. "The difference between the two people is that they had a different socioeconomic experience growing up."

According to Griskevicius, a prototypical example of the findings is a kid who grows up in a bad neighborhood. "If he hears gunshots down the street, this triggers a 'live fast and die young' psychology. He will feel the urge to get what he can while he can because the future is uncertain." This response is likely related to why poorer individuals purchase more lottery tickets.

The research also suggests that efforts using a "you never know what's going to happen tomorrow" approach to persuade at-risk kids to stay in school or avoid risky behaviors might be ineffective.

"Why should I go to school if I might not be around to see the benefits of my education?" Griskevicius asks. "Perhaps a more effective strategy would be to highlight the predictable aspects of the world. "It's a sense of the predictability of the world that's going to get people to save money, stay in school, be less risky and care about the future."

Co-authors of the study are Joshua Tybur (VU University Amsterdam) and Andrew Delton and Theresa Robertson (University of California, Santa Barbara).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Minnesota. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Vladas Griskevicius, Joshua M. Tybur, Andrew W. Delton, Theresa E. Robertson. The influence of mortality and socioeconomic status on risk and delayed rewards: A life history theory approach.. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2011; 100 (6): 1015 DOI: 10.1037/a0022403

Cite This Page:

University of Minnesota. "Socioeconomic status as child dictates response to stress as adult." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110706122901.htm>.
University of Minnesota. (2011, July 6). Socioeconomic status as child dictates response to stress as adult. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110706122901.htm
University of Minnesota. "Socioeconomic status as child dictates response to stress as adult." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110706122901.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. 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:
from the past week

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