Poverty hurts your ability to think, study says
New research suggests the poor are so preoccupied with money issues that they make more errors and bad decisions, which continue the cycle of financial problems.
What do being broke and not being able to sleep have in common? According to a new study, both can tax your brain.
A person preoccupied with money problems can have a decrease in their mental abilities similar to a 13-point drop in IQ -- or about the same as trying to function normally after losing an entire night's sleep.
A team of international researchers says poverty and all its concerns use up so much mental energy that a poor person is more likely to make more mistakes and bad decisions, which in turn can deepen their financial woes.
The study, published in the journal Science, tested several hundred people at random in a New Jersey mall over the course of a year -- having them perform common intelligence and cognition tests while asking them to solve scenarios involving sudden and costly financial problems. The same test was also conducted with hundreds of sugarcane farmers in India.
"These findings fit in with our story of how scarcity captures attention. It consumes your mental bandwidth," Jiaying Zhao, one of the study's co-authors, said in a press statement published by Princeton University. "Just asking a poor person to think about hypothetical financial problems reduces mental bandwidth. This is an acute, immediate impact, and has implications for scarcity of resources of any kind."
The researchers say the "mental tax" poverty and money concerns put on the brain is different from stress.
The poor "don't have leftover bandwidth to devote to other tasks," noted Eldar Shafir, a professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton and another of the study's co-authors. "The poor are often highly effective at focusing on and dealing with pressing problems. It's the other tasks where they perform poorly."
One of poverty's vicious cycles, the study says, is how being poor dominates a person's time and therefore their thinking.
"There's very little you can do with time to get more money, but a lot you can do with money to get more time," Shafir said. "The poor, who our research suggests are bound to make more mistakes and pay more dearly for errors, inhabit contexts often not designed to help.”
Zhao, meanwhile, says the study undermines claims that poverty can be blamed on a person's personal failings or environment.
"We're arguing that the lack of financial resources itself can lead to impaired cognitive function," she said. "The very condition of not having enough can actually be a cause of poverty."
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If you aren't taking advantage of these opportunities, that's on you. There's too many people making too many excuses for the choices they make.
those with incomes less than 10 Million
to vote Republican....So, there is a case
to be made for feeding our children well,
and NOT to the crocodiles, either, Fat Cat.
Personally this is just crap!!!!!!!!! How many people have risen above poverty to achieve great things... Sorry, we should be taking excuses away from people, not giving them more.........
WOW! What a short sighted conclusion. Short mental bandwidth may be why these people are poor.
The observation that all cars that have small diameter tailpipes get good gas mileage, so to get better mileage we should put small exhaust pipes on big trucks does not fly.
To base cognitive function of sugar cane farmers on their ability to make complex financial decisions may not be taking some very important factors, such as education and experience into account.
Therefore, since poverty hurts your ability to think, then WE THE ENLIGHTENED should do the thinking for you.
I think its the other way around
Greed effects your ability to think just ask any tea party individual a question
Answer Obama did it. That's before you even get the question out.
Bush jr with all his millions fool me once_____-__uh shame on you ___don't fool me again
I Won't even mention sarah palin
“If you go to the Republican convention in Florida, you see all of the old Republicans with the dead skin cells washing off them,” the professor can be heard telling students on the video.
“I’m a college professor,” he said. “If I find out you are a closet racist I am coming after you.
He told them the country is “still full of closet racists.”
“What do you think is going on in South Carolina and North Carolina. Voter suppression. Its about getting black people not to vote. Why? Because black people tend to vote Democratic.”
“Why would would Republicans want to do it?” he asked. “Because Republicans are not a majority in this country anymore. They are a bunch of dead white people."
“Ann Romney a first lady?” he asked. “And remember this if you are just going to be a greedy bastard all your life and just try to get things (unintelligible) In order to be rich like Mitt Romney and hide all your income offshore, in the Cayman Islands, you have to be -- think about it -- Mitt Romney. Anybody here want to be Mitt Romney? Him? I mean (sigh) married to her?”
MSU Professor William Penn (Fake Name)
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