Recently I attended a talk by a wealth coach about the differences between what rich people believe and what poor people believe.
Much of the talk was in the form of questions followed by the "correct" answers, as in: "Would you rather have more money, or more time with your family and friends? Would you rather have more money, or more spirituality?… Rich people say ‘I want both!’"
To me the talk came across as sneering at poor people, and making rich people feel better about themselves. I wasn’t sure that much of it was based on any kind of evidence, and today I came across some research (by Kathleen D Vohs of the University of Minnesota) which suggested a different conclusion – that even thinking about money tends to make you more independent, but also more selfish.
There’s an article about this research, plus earlier some earlier studies that back it up, by JohnJoe McFadden in the Guardian today.
The original research, The Psychological Consequences Of Money, is published in Science magazine:
Money has been said to change people’s motivation (mainly for the better) and their behavior toward others (mainly for the worse). The results of nine experiments suggest that money brings about a self-sufficient orientation in which people prefer to be free of dependency and dependents. Reminders of money, relative to nonmoney reminders, led to reduced requests for help and reduced helpfulness toward others. Relative to participants primed with neutral concepts, participants primed with money preferred to play alone, work alone, and put more physical distance between themselves and a new acquaintance.