Money Thoughts Lead to Evil Actions

Quick, think about money. Feel more evil yet?

According new research by Maryan Kouchaki at Harvard University and Kristin Smith-Crowe of the University of Utah, merely thinking about money can make someone more evil:

In four separate studies, they found that people who were first primed with money-related words or images were more likely to make unethical decisions or lie than those who had seen neutral ones. Thoughts about money made the study’s participants more likely to agree to things like hiring a candidate because he had confidential information that could benefit the company, or stealing a ream of paper from their employer for their home printer.

So, pretty much, thinking about or seeing a greenback might make you a Scrooge. “It’s pretty amazing to us that these subtle cues, environmental cues have this big of an effect,” Smith-Crowe told Quartz in an interview. “[Participants] were conscious that they were seeing words related to money but they were not conscious that these things were actually affecting their decisions and behavior.”

Simone Foxman of Quartz explains: Link

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