How Money Worries Can Scramble Your Thinking
There’s no question that dealing with mortgages, car payments and other bills takes up time and energy. But having a tight budget may also zap our ability to think clearly, scientists Thursday in the journal Science.
In a series of clever experiments involving farmers in India and shoppers in New Jersey, scientists found that people are worse at solving puzzles — similar to those on the IQ test — when they’re first reminded of money problems.
“Financial constraints capture a lot of your attention,” says Eldar Shafir, a psychologist at Princeton University, who helped lead the study. “Then there’s less bandwidth left to solve problems. Your cognitive ability starts to slow down, just like a computer.”
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