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Impact of money on emotional expression

  • Chinese Universiy of Hong Kong


Activating the concept of money can influence people's own expressions of emotion as well as their reactions to the emotional expressions of others. Thinking about money increases individuals' disposition to perceive themselves in a business-like relationship with others in which transactions are based on objective criteria and the expression of emotion is considered inappropriate. Therefore, these individuals express less emotion in public and expect others to do likewise. Six experiments show that subtle reminders of money lead people to have more negative attitudes toward expressing emotions in public and to avoid expressing emotion in their written communications. In addition, money-primed participants judge others' emotions to be more extreme and are disposed to avoid interacting with persons who display these emotions, especially when participants believe that these emotions are expressed in public.
Impact of money on emotional expression
Yuwei Jiang
, Zhansheng Chen
, Robert S. Wyer Jr.
Department of Management and Marketing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Department of Psychology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Department of Marketing, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Money-primed individuals see public emotional expressions as less appropriate.
Money-primed individuals show less emotional expressions themselves.
Money-primed individuals judge others' emotions to be more extreme.
Money-primed individuals avoid interacting with emotional others.
These effects disappear when emotional expressions are believed to be private.
abstractarticle info
Article history:
Received 26 August 2013
Revised 1 9 July 2014
Available online 31 July 2014
Psychology of money
Emotional expression
Social cognition
Interpersonal relationships
Activating the concept of money can inuence people's own expressions of emotion as well as their reactions to the
emotional expressions of others. Thinking about money increases individuals' disposition to perceive themselves in a
business-like relationship with others in which transactions are based on objective criteria and the expression of emo-
tion is considered inappropriate. Therefore, these individuals express less emotion in public and expect others to do
expressing emotions in public and to avoid expressing emotion in their written communications. In addition, money-
primed participants judge others' emotions to be more extreme and are disposed to avoid interacting with persons
who display these emotions, especially when participants believe that these emotions are expressed in public.
© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Money is the most common medium of exchange and pervades
many aspects of daily life. Consequently, most research has traditionally
focused on the motivational and functional effects of money. For exam-
ple, some studies have addressed the impact of having money on sub-
jective well-being (Diener, Ng, Harter, & Arora, 2010); others have
identied situational and individual difference variables that affect
how people perceive money (Furnham, 1984; Belk, 1991; Tang, 1992),
save money (Jahoda, 1981; Sonuga-Barke & Webley, 1993), spend
money (Lunt & Livingstone, 1992), and give away money (Knight,
Johnson, Carlo, & Eisenberg, 1994); for a review, see Lea and Webley
(2006). More recent research, however, indicates that the mere expo-
sure to money, devoid of any goal to which it might be relevant, can in-
uence people's behavior. For example, it may stimulate the adoption of
a utilitarian and business-like mindset (Kouchaki, Smith-Crowe, Brief, &
Sousa, 2013; Tong, Zheng, & Zhao, 2013) that leads to behaviors that are
relatively impersonal and self-focused, showing little concern for the
needs of others (Vohs, Mead, & Goode, 2006, 2008).
These ndings have implications for a broad range of phenomena,
many of which have not yet been considered. The present research is
concerned with people's willingness to express emotion and their reac-
tions to others' emotional expression. Business relationships are relative-
ly impersonal and are guided by objective criteria. Emotions, however,
typically convey information about one another's needs (Ekman,
1993), and consequently the expression of these emotions is often con-
sidered inappropriate in business relationships. Therefore, if activating
a concept of money stimulates the adoption of a business-like mindset,
it may dispose people to think of social interactions in impersonal
terms and thus may not only inhibit their own expressions of emotion
but also inuence their reactions to others' emotional expressions.
Our research evaluated implications of this general hypothesis. Six
experiments showed that exposure to money, out of the context of its
functional utility, leads people to have more negative attitudes toward
the public expression of emotionand to avoid expressing theiremotions
when communicating about emotion-laden events. Furthermore, it
leads people to evaluate others' expressions of emotion as more intense
and to avoid interacting with them, especially when they believe that
these emotions are expressed in public.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 55 (2014) 228233
The preparation of th is manuscript was supported by Grants GRF 640 011, GRF
452813, GRF 493113, and PolyU 55 14/12H from the Research Grants Cou ncil of Hong
Corresponding authorat: Department of Management and Marketing, The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
E-mail address: (Y. Jiang).
0022-1031/© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
journal homepage:
Money and interpersonal relationship
Because money is a quantiable medium of social exchange, it has be-
come associated with the use of objective, rational bases for interpersonal
transactions. These transactions are generally impersonal (e.g., Simmel,
1978; Parry & Bloch, 1989). Vohs and colleagues proposed that the
mere exposure to money induces a feeling of self-suf ciency that leads in-
dividuals to pursue their own objectives without involving others (Vohs
et al., 2008). Thus, their interactions with others exemplify an exchange
relationship in which transactions are impersonal and governed by quid
pro quo (Clark & Mills, 1979, 1993). To this extent, these individuals
tend to be concerned with the relative contribution that each person
makes to an interpersonal transaction rather than with the needs of
other individuals (Vohs et al., 2006; Caruso, Vohs, Baxter, & Waytz, 2013).
Money-induced feelings of self-interest can inuence people's judg-
ment and behavior in various ways. For example, exposure tomoney in-
creases the focus on utilitarian consequences of a decision (Tong et al.,
2013) and prompts a self-interested costbenet analysis of social in-
teractions (Tenbrunsel & Messick, 1999). People who are reminded of
money are less likely to offer help to others (Vohs et al., 2006), prefer
to play or work alone (Vohs et al., 2006), and are more supportive of
free-market systems that foster social inequality (Caruso et al., 2013).
Money and emotional expression
The expression of emotion is a key ingredient of social communica-
tion (Friedman & Miller-Herringer, 1991). Emotions play different roles
in different types of interpersonal relationships. Expressions of emotion
in an interaction often convey important information about the needs of
the persons involved (Bell & Ainsworth, 1972). However, they are con-
sidered less appropriate in business relationships that are primarily im-
personal and concerned with maintaining equity independent of other
considerations (Clark & Finkel, 2005). Financial analysts often advise in-
vestors to avoid letting emotions inuence their investment decisions
(Lichtenfeld, 2009). Businessmen are also told to control their emotions
during negotiations, and one of the keys to successful business leader-
ship is believed to be the ability to exercise this control (Williams, 2007).
If thoughts about money dispose individuals to view their interac-
tions with others as business-like relationships, and if the expression of
emotion is considered inappropriate in these relationships, it seems like-
ly that activating concepts of money will inuence not only people's own
expressions of emotion but their expectations for others also. That is, it
should lead them both to express less emotion themselves and to react
negatively to others' expressions of emotion in interpersonal contexts.
Six experiments conrmed theseexpectations. In each study, we un-
obtrusively primed the concept of money by either showing partici-
pants pictures of banknotes or asking them to perform a sentence-
construction task in which money-related words were used (for the
use of these procedures, see Vohs et al., 2006, 2008). Experiment 1
showed that subtle reminders of money dispose individuals to report
less favorable attitudes toward expressing emotion. Experiment 2 and
Experiment 3 found that monetary reminders decrease the extremity
of participants' actual expressions of emotion in communications
about both a negative experience (a customer servicefailure) and a pos-
itive one (a funny movie). Experiment 4 and Experiment 5 found that
priming the concept of money led participants to judge others' facial ex-
pressions of emotion as more extreme, especially when these emotions
are expressed in public. Finally, Experiment 6 revealed that priming
money concepts decreases participants' desire to interact with persons
who are likely to display strong emotions.
Experiment 1: money and emotion expressiveness
Experiment 1 investigated the possibility that activating the concept
of money decreases the favorableness of individuals' attitudes toward
overt expression of emotions.
Twenty-three male and 71 female Hong Kong undergraduates par-
ticipated for extra course credit. Participants were randomly assigned
to one of two primingconditions (money vs.control). To prime the con-
cept of money, we adopted a money-prime manipulation frequently
used in past research (e.g. Vohs et al., 2006). Specically, participants
were asked to rate 10 color pictures in terms of their lightingand clarity.
In the money-priming conditions, the pictures were of banknotes and
coins. In the control-priming conditions, the pictures showed various
types of seashells. After performing this task, participants reported
their current mood along a scale from 1 (bad/negative)to9(good/
positive). Responses to the two mood items were averaged (r=.78).
Next, as part of an ostensibly unrelated task, participants indicated
their agreement with six statements that concerned the desirability of
expressing emotions adopted from the Emotional Expressivity Scale
(Kring, Smith, & Neil, 1994): (a) I should keep my feelings to myself,
(b) even when I'm experiencing strong feelings, I shouldn't express
them outwardly, (c) what I'm feeling is not other people's business,
(d) it's inappropriate to display your emotions in public, (e) I don't
want other people to think I'm very emotional, and (f) I don't want to
be an emotionally expressive person. Participants reported their agree-
ment with each item along a scale from 1 (totally disagree)to9(totally
agree). Responses to these items were averaged (α=.63)toprovidea
single index of participants' attitudes toward expressing emotions.
Analyses of participants' attitudes toward emotional expressiveness
indicatedthatmoney-primedparticipants reported less favorable attitudes
toward expressing emotions (M= 3.89, SD = .99) than neutral-primed
participants did (M= 4.43, SD = 1.03; F(1, 92) = 6.87, p= .01, η
.07). In contrast, priming had no effect on participants' mood (pN.50).
Experiment 2: expression of negative emotions
If activating money concepts decreases individuals' favorable atti-
tudes toward the expression of extreme emotions, it should decrease
their own emotional behavior in situations in which these emotions
come into play. This is in fact the case. Experiment 2 showed that
reminding individuals of money decreases their expression of negative
emotions, and Experiment 3 showed that it decreases the expression
of positive emotions as well.
These effects might seem inconsistent with the results of Experiment
1, which found that priming money concepts had no inuence on partic-
ipants' mood. However, mood is typically a diffuse, low-intensity affec-
tive reaction whose cause is unclear, whereas an emotion is a high-
intensity experience that is attributed to a specicsource(Wyer, Clore,
& Isbell, 1999). More importantly, emotions typically contain corre-
sponding expressive elements (e.g., facial expressions) whereas moods
do not (Ekman, 1993). To the extent that thoughts about money de-
crease the desire to display extreme feelings overtly, they are more likely
to inuence emotional expression than to inuence mood.
Sixty-eight men and 82 women (averaging 31 years of age) from the
United States were recruited through Amazon's Mechanical Turk
website and participated online in exchange for a small monetary
reward. Participants rst completed the same priming task as in
Experiment 1 except that the pictures in control conditions showed
furniture (e.g. chair and table) instead of seashells.
Next, in an ostensibly unrelated task about online behavior, partici-
pants were told to imagine that their newly purchased laptop had bro-
ken down and they were dissatised with how this issue was handled
by the company's customer service department. They were then asked
229Y. Jiang et al. / Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 55 (2014) 228233
to write a negative product review to complain about the incident as if it
would be posted on a popular online public forum.
After nishing the writing task, participants reported their own
feelings during the writing task on a 9-point scale from 1 (not at all)
to 9 (extremely). Three questions referred to anger (angry,irritated,
and furious); the other three pertained to negative affect in general
Participants' responses to the three self-reported anger items (α=
.92) and the three negative affect items (α=.82)wereaveraged
to provide two indices of emotional expression. Participants report-
ed signicantly less anger (M= 5.31, SD = 2.29) when they
had been primed with money than when they had not (M= 6.07,
SD =1.74;F(1, 148) = 5.16, pb.03, η
= .03) and also less negative
affect (M= 5.34, SD = 2.34, vs. M= 6.16, SD = 1.55, respectively;
F(1, 148) = 6.34, pb.02, η
An independent judge who was blind to our hypothesis read the re-
views thatparticipants hadwritten and rated theemotions expressed in
the review on the same 9-point scale as the self-reported measures. The
judge's ratings of the three anger items and ratings of the three
negative-affect items were highly intercorrelated (αsN.95) and were
averaged. The judge's ratings were only correlated .17 with participants'
self-reported anger, and correlated .11 with participants' self-reported
negative affect.
Nevertheless, they were inuenced in much the same
way by priming money. That is, the judge's ratings of the complaints
written by participants in the money-priming conditions indicated
that the complaints showed less anger than those written by control
participants (M= 5.23, SD = 2.18, vs. M= 6.83,SD = 1.53, respective-
ly; F(1, 148) = 26.50, pb.001, η
= .15) and contained less negative
affect (M=6.17,SD = 1.17, vs. M=7.27,SD = .73, respectively; F
(1, 148) = 46.54, pb.001, η
= .24).
These results are therefore consistent with our hypothesis that ex-
posure to money decreases emotional expression. One might speculate,
however, that these effects might be attributable to more general differ-
ences in the motivation to perform the writing task. Two sets of data
rule out this possibility. First, the total number of words in each review
and the length of time (in minutes) participants spent writing were re-
corded. If money-primed participants do not care about the outcome
anymore, they should spend less time and write shorter complaints. In
fact, however, these participants did not differ from control participants
in either the length of time they spent writing the review (M=
3.83 min, SD = 2.75, vs. M=3.81min,SD = 2.29, respectively; Fb1)
or the length of their review (M=86words,SD = 52, vs. M=78
words, SD = 38, respectively; F(1, 148) = 1.26, pN.26). These results
suggest that motivation was not a factor.
To conrm the conclusion that motivational factors do not account
for the effects of money priming, 53 men and 47 women (averaging
35 years of age) were recruited through the same online panel and
completed the same priming task as participants in Experiment 2. In-
stead of writing a review, however, they answered several questions
concerning (a) the extent to which they thought that the defective lap-
top was a big deal,(b) the extent to which the product's failure con-
cerned them, and (c) whether they cared about the product's failure,
along 9-point scales (α= .92). Participants also indicated thelikelihood
that they would ask the company for a full refund and would discard
this laptop and buy a new one.
Participants in the money and control conditions reported a sim-
ilar concern in this situation (M= 8.22, SD = 1.00, vs. M= 8.30,
SD = 1.03, respectively; Fb1). Moreover, they were equally likely
to ask the company for a full refund (M= 8.42, SD = 1.23, vs. M= 8.42,
SD = 1.44, respectively; Fb1), or to trash this laptop and buy a new one
(M= 3.06, SD = 2.52, vs. M= 3.20, SD = 2.63, respectively; Fb1).
These ndings also argue against the interpretation that priming money
led participants to feel more self-sufcient and, therefore, to be less
concerned about losing capital goods (e.g., a broken laptop).
Experiment 3: expression of positive emotions
Experiment 3 examined whether activating the thought of money
would decrease the expression of positive emotions, like it did for neg-
ative emotions in Experiment 2.
Twenty-six male and 50 female Hong Kong undergraduates partici-
pated for extra course credit. After performing the same priming task
employed in Experiment 2, participants watched a short video clip from
Happy Gilmore, a funny movie about a rejected hockey player (played
by American comedian Adam Sandler). After watching the video, partici-
pants were told that we were interested in how college students commu-
nicate to one another and would therefore like them to describe the
movie clip in writing to another group of students in a later experimental
session. They were told to describe the content of the clip, the feelings it
aroused, and any thoughts they would like to share with others.
After nishing the writing task, participants reported their agree-
ment with four statements concerning their own reactions to the lm
clip along scales from 1 (not at all)to9(very much): (a) I just could
not stop laughing when I was watching the movie clip, (b) this movie
made me laugh, (c) I was excited when watching this movie clip, and
(d) I was happy when watching this movie clip.
Participants' responses to the four self-reported emotion items
were averaged (α= .92) to provide a single index of their emotional
expression. Participants reported signicantly less intense emotion-
al reactions to the movie when they had been primed with money
(M=4.86,SD = 2.20) than when they had not (M=6.12,SD =1.55;
F(1, 74) = 8.30, pb.01, η
= .10).
This difference was conrmed by the emotions that participants
expressed in their written descriptions. Two judges who were
blind to our hypothesis rated the feelings conveyed by each de-
scription along a scale from 1 (not emotional at all)to9(extremely
emotional). Judges' ratings were highly consistent (r=.65)and
were averaged. Unlike Experiment 2, these ratings were correlated
.65 with participants' self-reported expressions of emotion and, as
exp ected , were le ss extre me when participants had been primed
with money (M= 5.41, SD = 2.36) than when they had not (M=6.55,
SD = 1.35; F(1, 74) = 6.74, pb.02, η
= .08).
To summarize, the results of Experiment 2 and Experiment 3 indi-
cated that money-primed participants expressed less positive as well
as negative emotions when communicating to others. This difference
in emotional expression was represented in both participants' self-
reported judgments of their emotional reactions and their actual
expression of emotions in communication.
Experiment 4: judgments of others' emotions
People are likely to believe that others behave (or should behave)
the same way that they personally behave under comparable circum-
stances (Ross, Greene, & House, 1977; Marks & Miller, 1987). Conse-
quently, they may use themselves as a standard of comparison in
These correlations suggest that the criteria the judge used to infer the extremity of
emotions conveyed in participants' written complaints differed substantially from the
criteria that participants themselves used as a basis for their estimates. The reason for
the low correlati on between the judge's ratings of emotions and participants' self-
reports is unclear. (This correlation was quite high in Experiment 3, when positive emo-
tions were judged, as will be indicated pres ently.) However, the converging effects of
the two independent indices of emotion extremity are noteworthy.
230 Y. Jiang et al. / Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 55 (2014) 228233
interpreting others' behavior. If this is so, and if people who have been
primed with money express little emotion and expect others to do so
as well, they should evaluate others' emotional expressions as more
extreme relative to these expectations than they otherwise would.
Twenty-one male and 38 female Hong Kong undergraduates partic-
ipated for a fast-food restaurant coupon. They were randomly assigned
to the money-priming or control condition. Participants rst performed
a sentence-unscrambling task similar to that employed by Vohs et al.
(2006). The task consisted of 30 sets of ve randomly ordered words.
In each case, participants were asked to use four of the words to con-
struct a meaningful phrase or sentence. In the money-priming condi-
tions, 15 of the phrases pertained to money (e.g., she cashed a
check). In the control-priming conditions, all phrases activated neutral
concepts (e.g., he took a glass).
Participants were then told that the next task was about students' abil-
ity to read facial expressions, and they were shown four pictures from the
Radboud Faces Database (Langner et al., 2010). The pictures (see Appendix
A) portrayed one person of each sex with a happy expression and one per-
son of each sex with a sad expression. Participants judged the intensity of
the emotion conveyed by each picture along scales from 1 (not intense at
all/very weak)to9(very intense/very strong). Responses along these scales
were averaged to provide a single index of intensity (α= .67).
Analyses of participants' intensity judgments as a function of
priming conditions, the sex of the model, and the model's expres-
sion (happy vs. sad) indicated that money-primed participants
rated the emotional expressions shown in the pictures as more intense
(M=5.96,SD = .71) than control participants did (M= 5.22, SD =.86;
F(1, 57) = 13.18, pb.001). This is true for both the happy pictures
(M= 6.00, SD = 1.04, vs. M= 5.33, SD = 1.13, respectively; F(1,
57) = 5.66, pb.03, η
= .09) and the sad pictures (M= 5.92, SD =
.88, vs. M=5.10,SD = 1.13, respectively; F(1, 57) = 9.53, pb.01,
= .14). No other effects involving (money vs. control) priming
conditions were signicant (all Fsb1).
In summary, exposure to money not only decreases one's own ex-
pression of emotion (as shown in Experiment 2 and Experiment 3)
but also inuences one's reaction to others' emotion. Consistent with
our expectations, participants judged others' positive and negative
emotional expressions as more intense after being reminded of
money. Money-primed individuals apparently used a more neutral
standard of comparison in evaluating emotional expression, and thus
they judged others' expression of emotion as more intense relative to
this standard than other participants did.
Experiment 5: judgments of public versus private emotions
Experiment 4 showed that money-primed participants judged
others' emotions as more extreme. This is presumably because
money-primed individuals used a lower threshold of tolerance for
others' emotions. However, this stance may only be applied to public
situations in which a business-like relationship is likely to be assumed.
If participants believe that the situation in which others expressed
their emotions is less likely to be public, the effect observed in
Experiment 4 might be attenuated.
Eighty-three women and 101 men (averaging 36 years of age) from
the United States were recruited through Amazon's Mechanical Turk
website and participated online in exchange for a small monetary re-
ward. Participants rst completed the same picture-priming task as in
Experiment 1 except that the pictures in control conditions showed
green leaves instead of seashells.
Then, participants in public-emotion conditions were told that the
next task concerned people's judgments of others' public expressions of
emotion. They were advised that people sometimes reveal their emo-
tions in an environment when other people (acquaintances or strangers)
are also present and their emotions can be seen clearly by others,that
they (the participants) would see several photos of individuals' public ex-
pressions of emotion, and that they would be asked to judge those pic-
tures. In private-emotion conditions, participants were told that people
sometimes express their emotions in a private settingthat is, they reveal
their emotions in an environment where no other people are and their
emotions cannot be seen,and that they would see and judge several
photos of people's private emotional expressions.
After the public- versus private-emotion manipulation, partici-
pants were shown six pictures in a randomized order. The pictures
each portrayed a male or female with a happy expression. Partici-
pants judged the intensity of the emotion portrayed in each picture
along scales from 1 (not intense at all/very weak)to9(very intense/
very strong). Responses along these scales were averaged to provide
a single index of intensity (α= .93). Participants also indicated
whether they believed that the individuals in the photographs
knew they were being photographed, knew they were watched by
others, and thought their emotional expression was public (α=
.86), along scales from 1 (denitely no)to9(denitely yes). These
judgments were averaged.
Participants in the public-emotion condition believed that people in
the photographs they saw were more likely to be in a public setting (M=
7.65, SD = 1.64) than did participants in the private-emotion condition
(M= 7.07, SD = 1.74, F(1, 180) = 5.45, pb.03). Judgments in the latter
condition were above the scale midpoint, indicating that participants did
not believe the photographs in this condition to be completely private.
Nonetheless, the assumption that the relative privacy of participants' per-
ceptions differed over conditions seems justied.
Participants' judgments of emotional intensity were analyzed as a
function of priming and type of emotion. The interaction of priming
and emotion type was signicant (F(1, 180) = 4.56, pb.04). As expect-
ed, money-primed participants rated the emotional expressions shown
in the pictures as more intense (M=6.64,SD = 1.04) than did control
participants when the emotions were expressed publicly (M= 5.98,
SD =1.39;F(1, 180) = 6.46, pb.02, η
= .04), but not when they
were expressed less publicly (M= 6.27, SD = 1.30, vs. M= 6.39,
SD = 1.17, respectively; Fb1).
Thus, these results conrm our assumption that priming concepts of
money increases individuals' expectations that people do not or should
not express extreme emotions in public. Consequently, it increases their
judgments of the intensity of emotions expressed in such situations relative
to these expectations. However, individuals consider extreme emotions to
be relatively more appropriate when they are expressed less publicly, and
so judgments of these emotions are not affected by priming money.
Experiment 6: intentions to interact with emotional others
People's own attitude toward the expression of extreme emo-
tions may inuence their motivation to avoid situations in which
these emotions are likely to be elicited (Maio & Esses, 2001). There-
fore, if priming money decreases individuals' perceived desirability
of expressing extreme emotions in public and leads them to dislike
others' expression of emotions, it should decrease their willingness
to interact with persons who display such emotions. Experiment 6
examined this possibility.
231Y. Jiang et al. / Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 55 (2014) 228233
Twenty-one male and 52 female Hong Kong undergraduates partici-
pated for a small monetary reward. They were randomly assigned to
either money-priming or control-priming conditions. After completing
the sentence-unscrambling task used to prime concepts in Experiment
4, participants were shown three male faces (again taken from the
Radboud Faces Database; see Appendix B).Onefaceconveyedhappiness,
a second conveyed anger, and the third was neutral. Participants were
told that each picture portrayed an incoming exchange student and
were asked to indicate the extent to which they would want to
(a) know more about the person, (b) meet the person, and (c) make
friends with the person, along scales from 1 (not at all)to9(extremely).
Responses to the three measures of intentions to interact with the
person in each picture were averaged (αN.91) and analyzed as a func-
tion of priming and type of picture. Pooled over priming conditions, par-
ticipants were more willing to interact with the person who had a
happy expression (M= 5.66, SD = 1.68) than the person who had a
neutral expression (M=4.77,SD = 1.45) or the person who expressed
anger (M= 3.16, SD = 1.79, F(2, 142) = 58.88, pb.001).
More important, the interaction of priming and type of picture was
also signicant (F(2, 142) = 3.38, pb.04). As expected, money-primed
participants were less inclined than control participants to interact with
both the person who expressed happiness (M= 5.17, SD = 1.57, vs. M
=6.17,SD =1.66,respectively;F(1, 71) = 6.92, p=.01,η
.09)andthepersonwhoexpressedanger(M=2.65,SD = 1.42,
vs. M=3.68,SD =2.00,respectively;F(1, 71) = 6.46, pb.02, η
= .08), but not the person who had a neutral expression (M=
4.79, SD = 1.46, vs. M=4.75,SD = 1.48, respectively; Fb1).
In short, priming the concept of money decreased participants' willing-
ness to interact with individuals who expressed intense emotions, and this
was true regardless of whether the emotions were positive or negative.
General discussion
Priming concepts of money, independent of its relation to the goals
or motives with which it is associated in daily life, can inuence people's
judgments and behavior (Vohs et al., 2006, 2008). Our research provides
new evidence of this inuence. Six experiments consistently show that
activating the concept of money leads personsto react more unfavorably
to both their own and others' public expressions of emotion. Specically,
money reminders lead people to have more negative attitudes toward
expressing emotions themselves (Experiment 1), to decrease their ex-
pressions of emotion when communicating about both a negative
event and a positive one (Experiment 2 and Experiment 3), to interpret
others' public expressions of emotion as more extreme (Experiment 4
and Experiment 5), and to decrease their willingness to interact with
persons who convey strong emotions (Experiment 6).
Several possible implications of our ndings deserve mention. If a
consideration of money increases individuals' perception that the public
expression of emotion is inappropriate, it may decrease the desirability
of using money as a medium of exchangewhen strong feelings are being
conveyed. Others (Belk & Coon, 1993) note that money and love are
considered incompatible resources that cannot be exchanged. More-
over, money can sometimes be unsuitable as a gift (Webley, Lea, &
Portalska, 1983), and nancial rewards sometimes discourage the
performance of altruistic activities (Ariely, Bracha, & Meier, 2009). Our
ndings offer a potential explanation for these phenomena.
Although the present research provides strong evidence of the effect
of money on emotional expression, the universality of such an associa-
tion remains to be examined. People from different cultures may hold
different attitudes and attachments toward money (e.g. Lynn, 1991),
and their use, perception, and understanding of money may differ
(Furnham & Argyle, 1998). These different conceptualizations of
money may underlie other dichotomies, for example, traditionalvs.
modern,”“pre-capitalistvs. capitalist,”“gift economyvs. commodity
economy(Parry & Bloch, 1989). And money, as a medium of exchange,
certainly plays a more important role in societies that are more modern,
capitalistic, and commodity-based. In the current research, however, we
found a converging pattern of data in both western (North American)
participants in Experiment 2 and Experiment 5 and eastern (Hong
Kong) participants in other experiments. Because Hong Kong is a highly
commercialized metropolitan society, however, these ndings do not
preclude the possibility that money plays a different role in a more tradi-
tional Asian culture. The inuence of cultural difference on the magnitude
of the effects we observed needs further investigation.
The current investigation focused on the effect of monetary
reminders on people's expression of emotions. The effects of these re-
minders on people's actual feelings of emotion, however, are less
clear. On one hand, thoughts about money could interfere with an
individual's emotional responses and make them emotionally numb
(e.g. Twenge, Baumeister, DeWall, Ciarocco, & Bartels, 2007). On the
other hand, the evidence that priming money had no effect on partici-
pants' perceptions of others' emotions when these emotions were
expressed privately suggests that individuals' actual feelings may in
fact not be affected, only the public expression of them. Nevertheless,
the distinction between people's actual feelings of emotion and their
willingness to express them is worth further consideration.
Appendix A. Pictures used in Experiment 4
Appendix B. Pictures used in Experiment 6
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... More transient situational factors, such as monetary reminders and acute stress, also affect the momentary activation of ROs. For example, monetary reminders boosted EO and caused people to refrain from emotional expressions and prosocial behaviors in both distant and close relationships (Jiang et al., 2014;Savani et al., 2016). Daily personal stress weakened CO and reduced constructive interactions with both mothers and romantic partners (Li & Fung, 2019). ...
... In Clark and colleagues' early studies about RO (e.g., Clark et al., 1986;Clark & Mills, 1979;Clark & Taraban, 1991), it was found that participants can be manipulated to expect either a communal or an exchange relationship with a stranger and would behave accordingly in that relationship with the manipulated RO. Now, we further revealed that, even within the same relationship, RO can vary because of the influence of momentary physical or mental stressors (Jiang et al., 2014;Li & Fung, 2019). It is also possible that different groups may experience different levels of situational stress (e.g., stress brought by the pandemic or social injustice), which may result in group differences in the shift of ROs. ...
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Exchange orientation (EO) and communal orientation (CO) are two fundamental relationship orientations (ROs). We argue that state RO (i.e., the relative activation of the two ROs at a specific moment) varies across situations and should be differentiated from trait ROs. In two studies, we examined how state RO affected subsequent helping behaviors and how it was influenced by a situational factor (i.e., hunger). We also examined whether trait ROs moderated the above links. An eye-tracking paradigm (Study 1) and a scenario-based paradigm (Study 2) were adopted to assess state RO. The two studies consistently found that relatively more activation of state EO over state CO reduced helping tendency toward strangers (Study 1) and acquaintances (Study 2). High trait CO amplified the effect in Study 1. Moreover, hunger heightened the relative activation of state EO over state CO in both studies, but the effect was only significant for participants with high trait EO in Study 1. The results highlight the importance to study the momentary variation of ROs and open new research directions. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12144-022-03666-y.
... Priming money has been found to attenuate fear of death (Zaleskiewicz et al., 2013), lift mood about a just world and fair economic system (Caruso et al., 2013), and inhibit emotional expressions (Jiang et al., 2014). Money priming also triggers market-pricing mindsets (Mead & Stuppy, 2014), manifested by increased shopping price sensitivity (Kim, 2017;Ma et al., 2017) and consumer choice selectivity (Tong et al., 2013). ...
... ).Mok and de Cremer (2018) primed participants by asking them to list five aspects of money and then asked them to help their colleague.Compared to participants who were asked to list characteristics of cardboard, those primed with money volunteered less to help their coworkers.2.2.2 | Behavioral versus perceptual measures of performance and selfishnessIn money priming research, perceptual and behavioral responses are commonly used measures of performance and selfishness. Studies that use perceptions examine reactions in the form of rating a willingness to perform an action, completing a self-report scale, or expressing an intention(Ekici & Shiri, 2018;Jiang et al., 2014;Zhou et al., 2009). Behavioral responses have been measured as points scored, dollars donated, objects picked up, speed, or number of puzzles solved(Beus & Whitman, 2017;Gasiorowska et al., 2016; ...
The effects of primed money have received widespread attention in social psychology but not in the organizational literature. This research examines whether priming money causes people to think and behave in ways consistent with how they would act if they received real money. Money priming research has not made many inferences to organizations, but the potential implications of the findings for the workplace are thought‐provoking. However, because some money priming studies failed to replicate and many findings are mixed, we review this literature and meta‐analyze the effects of primed money on two organization‐related outcomes. Meta‐analytic results (12,259 participants, 90 effects adjusted for dependence, and 34 studies) showed that primed money increased performance (d = .38) but it also boosted selfishness (d = .33). These effects were moderated by perceptual or behavioral outcome measures, where primed money increased behavioral selfishness (d = .72) over twice as much as it did behavioral performance (d = .33). These meta‐analytic results clarify extant literature, provide a new platform for future money priming research in organizations, and offer new alternatives for managers looking for viable options to improve employee functioning.
... For example, Vohs et al. (2006) proposed that simple money-related priming cues could stimulate individuals to generate higher egoistic motivation and reduce individual prosocial behaviors. Jiang et al. (2014) also found similar results in their study, which showed that people were less likely to express their feelings in public after being reminded of money. However, some research indicated that money-related donation was also essential for donation behavior. ...
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This research performed four experiments to investigate the influence of infant schema cues on charitable donation intention and examine the moderating effect of gender. The results indicate that: (1) individuals stimulated by infant schema (vs. adult schema) cues had a higher willingness to donate when facing charity promotion; (2) the main effect was not due to the perceived cuteness of character in posters; (3) empathy played an entirely mediating role in the relationship between infant schema cues and donation intention; (4) gender moderated the influence of infant schema on donation intention: infant schema cues are effective for improving females’ donation intention, but ineffective for males. These findings contributed to the literature on infant schema and provide practical significance for introducing infant schema in charity promotion.
... In contrast, thinking in terms of the market mindset emphasizes independence, individualistic efficiency, and self-control. Market relationships do not allow for intimacy and emotional connectedness (Jiang et al., 2014;Mead & Stuppy, 2014;Vohs, 2015)-the qualities which could be considered as indispensable for showing trust (Mikulincer, 1998;Rempel et al., 1985). Fiske (1992) even uses the term "asocial selfish individualism" to define the market mode of relating, which potentially creates an opposition between the market mindset and the willingness to spontaneously show trust. ...
In a series of six experiments, we provided evidence that evoking the market mindset negatively affects trust. We found that the market mindset reduces trust compared to the communal mindset (Experiment 1) and compared to a neutral condition (Experiment 2). We excluded alternative explanations by demonstrating that the market mindset negatively affects trust, but not caution or cynicism (Experiment 3). Next, we examined the psychological mechanisms behind the detrimental effect of the market mindset on trust and found that this effect was due to enhanced motivation to use proportional thinking (Experiments 4 and 6) and reduced state empathy (Experiments 5 and 6). Finally, in a preregistered Experiment 6, we showed that these two psychological mechanisms are relatively independent.
... This means that people placing great interest in money will be less ethical. Money has been considered as a negative force that weakens social bonds and reduces people's tendency to help others (Vohs, Mead, & Goode, 2006, 2008 (Jiang, Chen, & Wyer, 2014), adopt a businesslike attitude (Tong, Zheng, & Zhao, 2013), and cheat more when given the opportunity to do so (Gino & Mogilner, 2014). Moreover, when people actually pay money (e.g., when they buy a product or a service, when they pay their taxes, or when they donate it) or merely anticipate doing so, they also experience the so-called "pain of paying" (Prelec & Loewenstein, 1998;Kuhnen & Knutson, 2005). ...
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Finding mechanisms to promote prosocial spending behavior is fundamental to the well-being of our societies and is more urgent than ever in a time of key global challenges, including social and economic inequalities. Tax payment and charitable giving can be seen as two complementary ways to financially provide for the common good and, like many other social dilemmas, they both involve a conflict between what is good for oneself and what is good for others. The aim of the present article is to perform a comparative analysis of the main determinants of tax behavior and charitable giving to identify some common antecedents to gain insight to promote pro-social financial decisions at large. Despite the intrinsic differences, several commonalities were found, thus suggesting a transcending common core. By identifying well-established literature and under-investigated areas, a new research agenda is formulated.
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People with a market mindset attend to ratios and rates, and allocate rewards adequately to costs but are less sensitive to feelings. In this project, we demonstrate that activating a market mindset also affects people’s acceptance of free-market principles and their endorsement of individualizing moral dimensions—care/harm and fairness/cheating. Experiment 1 documented that a market mindset positively impacted people’s endorsement of fair market ideology. Experiments 2 and 3 showed that the salience of such a market mindset hampered the importance of individualizing moral dimensions. Importantly, we found that political orientation moderated the negative effect of a market mindset on the endorsement of individualizing moral foundations—this effect held for participants who declared moderate and conservative political orientations, but not for liberals.
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Introduction: Decision-making is an area of human life that the cognitive sciences have long dreamed of drawing a complete profile of it. Aim: Considering the importance of identifying the role of priming money in everyday decision-making and also the lack of focus on this area, this study was conducted to investigate the mentioned priming on aspects of risk assessments and optimal selections among given options. Method: The research method was quasi – experimental with comparison group. The statistical population was all students of Allameh Tabataba'i University in Tehran in 2020-2021. From students of Bachelor of Science and Master of Science, 30 students were purposefully selected, then randomly divided into experimental and comparison groups. Data were collected using IOWA Gambling Task (IGT) and Barrat Impulsivity Scale and then analyzed using multivariate analysis of covariance in SPSS-24 software. Results: Significant differences were observed in the selection of cards from the advantageous decks in experimental group (M:31.26; SD:12.34) compared to the comparison group (M:22.06; SD:12.14) in the IGT (P
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In a series of five experiments, we provided evidence that evoking the market mindset negatively affects trust. We found that the market mindset reduces trust compared to the communal mindset (Experiment 1) and a neutral condition (Experiment 2). Next, we examined the psychological mechanisms behind the detrimental effect of the market mindset on trust and found that this effect was mediated by enhanced proportional thinking (Experiments 3 and 4) and reduced state empathy (Experiments 4 and 5). Finally, in a preregistered Experiment 5, we showed that these two psychological mechanisms are relatively independent.
In the “k‐volunteer's dilemma” benefit accrues to all members if at least k members volunteer, and receive nothing otherwise. We use experiments to examine (a) volunteering behavior when threshold k increases from 1 to 2, and (b) whether volunteering behavior shifts toward norms associated with one of two primed identities—charitable or competitive. We find that increasing the threshold increases an individual's probability of volunteering, but the likelihood of good provision is lower. Neither priming affects volunteering behavior when k = 1, but competitive priming effectively increases volunteering when k = 2. Both greed and fear of non‐provision appear to affect volunteering.
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This fascinating book examines such diverse and compelling subjects as: money and power, gender differences, morality and tax, the very rich, the poor, lottery and pools winners, how possessions and wealth affect self-image and esteem, why some people become misers and others gamblers, spendthrifts and tycoons, and why some people gain more pleasure from giving away money than from retaining it. Comprehensive and cross-cultural, The Psychology of Money integrates fascinating and scattered literature from many disciplines, and includes the most recent material to date. It will be of interest to psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists and to people interested in business and economics.
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Can mere exposure to money corrupt? In four studies, we examined the likelihood of unethical outcomes when the construct of money was activated through the use of priming techniques. The results of Study 1 demonstrated that individuals primed with money were more likely to demonstrate unethical intentions than those in the control group. In Study 2, we showed that participants primed with money were more likely to adopt a business decision frame. In Studies 3 and 4, we found that money cues triggered a business decision frame, which led to a greater likelihood of unethical intentions and behavior. Together, the results of these studies demonstrate that mere exposure to money can trigger unethical intentions and behavior and that decision frame mediates this effect.
This paper examines the influence of surveillance and sanctioning systems on cooperative behavior in dilemma situations. The first study provides evidence that a weak sanctioning system can actually result in less cooperation than no sanctioning system at all and suggests that one reason for this effect is that sanctions affect the type of decision that individuals perceive that they are making, prompting a concentration on the business versus ethical aspects of the decision. Based on this finding, a theoretical model is then presented that postulates that the relationship between sanctions and cooperation is due to both a signaling effect, in which sanctions influence the type of decision that is made, and a processing effect, in which the decision processing that occurs, including whether or not the strength of the sanction is considered, is dependent on the decision frame that has been evoked. A second study provides support for the processing effect hypothesis. Theoretical and managerial implications of these findings are discussed.
This volume deals with the way in which money is symbolically represented in a range of different cultures, from South and South-east Asia, Africa and South America. It is also concerned with the moral evaluation of monetary and commercial exchanges as against exchanges of other kinds. The essays cast radical doubt on many Western assumptions about money: that it is the acid which corrodes community, depersonalises human relationships, and reduces differences of quality to those of mere quantity; that it is the instrument of man's freedom, and so on. Rather than supporting the proposition that money produces easily specifiable changes in world view, the emphasis here is on the way in which existing world views and economic systems give rise to particular ways of representing money. But this highly relativistic conclusion is qualified once we shift the focus from money to the system of exchange as a whole. One rather general pattern that then begins to emerge is of two separate but related transactional orders, the majority of systems making some ideological space for relatively impersonal, competitive and individual acquisitive activity. This implies that even in a non-monetary economy these features are likely to exist within a certain sphere of activity, and that it is therefore misleading to attribute them to money. By so doing, a contrast within cultures is turned into a contrast between cultures, thereby reinforcing the notion that money itself has the power to transform the nature of social relationships.
Replying to Batson (this issue), who argues that the difference between communal and exchange relationships is less than might be imagined, the authors review the communal/exchange distinction, discuss what it does and does not mean, and address specific issues raised by Batson. They conclude, contrary to claims by Batson, that (a) ingratiation cannot account for all the findings supporting the communal/exchange distinction; (b) if desire for a communal relationship leads to ingratiation, that does not contradict the distinction; (c) if communal norms are followed for other than altruistic reasons, that does not undermine the distinction, (d) the difference between communal and exchange relationships is not limited to the breadth of benefits exchanged; (e) the difference between communal and exchange relationships is not limited to a difference in etiquette; rather, the communal/exchange distinction provides a theoretical explanation for the difference in etiquette.
Despite the ubiquitous importance of money, the psychology of money has until recently received relatively little attention. While the literature has found that priming money has notable psychological consequences, little research has been done on the impact of priming money on consumer choice, particularly, their choice between hedonic and utilitarian options. The current research proposes that priming money will increase the likelihood of a prevention regulatory focus, and consequently, consumers will be more likely to choose more prudent alternatives when facing a trade-off between hedonic and utilitarian options. Results of four experiments show that participants in the money priming condition were more likely to choose utilitarian over hedonic options, compared with participants in the control condition. Furthermore, this effect was mediated by consumers’ situational prevention focus on the exposure to money primes, but attenuated when credit cards are primed.