If you’ve ever thought of money as a drug, you may be more right than you know. New research shows that counting money — just handling the bills — can make things less painful.
“It is surprising,” says Kathleen Vohs, a professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management who participated in the research. “It still surprises me.”
The experiments were conducted by a colleague of Vohs’ in China. Students came into the lab and were told they would be participating in a test of finger dexterity. One group was given a pile of Chinese currency to count. Another group was given blank pieces of paper to count.
Then, some of the students were asked to put their fingers in bowls of water heated to 122 degrees Fahrenheit and rate how uncomfortable it felt.
“The subjects who had earlier been counting money and had their hands in the painfully hot water reported that the water didn’t feel so hot to them, compared to people who had counted slips of paper,” Vohs says.
How hot is 122 degrees Fahrenheit? Not hot enough to do lasting damage, but hotter than the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends setting your home water heater. I heated some water in the microwave and used a thermometer to make sure I’d hit the mark — I can testify that 122 degrees is uncomfortable. “Like a hot hot tub?” Vohs asked during our interview. Yes. “Good, OK,” she said, then confessed, “Boy, you know I never did that.”
Money also acts as a subsitute for love:
Researcher Xinyue Zhou, of the department of psychology at Sun Yat-Sen University in China, puts it in very human terms. “We think money works as a substitute for another pain buffer — love.”
Past research has shown that a social relationship can make things hurt less. “If you dip your hand in hot water, if someone is standing there beside you, then you feel less pain,” Zhou says. “That was a classic experiment.”
Money as a substitute for social acceptance and love? Zhou laughs and admits that it’s kind of sad. “All substitutes are sad.”
A new study by Solon Simmons of the George Mason University ranks academic disciplines by political correctness.The study defines political correctness as,
The belief that gender gaps in math and science fields are largely due to discrimination; support for affirmative action; and belief that discrimination is a key cause of racial inequities in American society. Generally, members of this cohort see race and gender as fundamental.
The most PC: Psychology, Sociology, English, History, Elementary education
The least PC: Criminal justice, Economics, Marketing, Accounting, Computer science, Biology, Finance, Management information, Mechanical engineering, Electrical engineering