How Scarcity Leads to Spending

TIME:

Will economic uncertainty make you save more — or spend more? The answer may depend on your childhood experience, a new study suggests.

The research, published in Psychological Science could help explain why poverty can sometimes be so difficult to escape. In two different experiments, researchers led by Vladas Griskevicius of the University of Minnesota studied people who had been raised either in relative financial comfort in middle or upper class households or had had some childhood experience with poverty. In the first experiment, 168 people were shown either images of the current recession—such as houses displaying foreclosure signs and people standing in long unemployment lines— or pictures of natural scenes.

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