Seeing money can change behavior

The AP reports:

Kathleen Vohs, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota, and colleagues, conducted a series of nine experiments in which people were asked to do puzzles or other tasks and the behavior of people exposed to money was compared to others who were not prompted to think about it.

The two groups acted differently, the researchers report in Friday’s issue of the journal Science.

“The mere presence of money changes people,” Vohs said. “The effect can be negative, it can be positive. Exposure to money, or the concept of money, elevates a sense of self-sufficiency,” and can make people less social.

Full Story: Fox New


  1. I\’ll have to read more about this one. I find the disparity between commercially successful endeavours of art and art done for art\’s sake a great example. Talented Turkish caricaturist Ercan Akyol said in a recent issue of Bak:

    \”It is important that art is produced, but it also has to be consumed. The dynamics of producers and consumers is the motor of art.\”

    I\’ve watched the success of many international artists, those raised in commercially viable markets, in which public education is not only a nicety but a necessity of selling art. It\’s glaringly obvious that many Canadian artists ? often supported by government grants ? are not under the same obligation to maintain an open dialogue with the public, granted monies to explore artistic endeavours that may, socially, be one-way conversations (for lack of terms). Money, or the responsibility thereof, often keeps those involved with it quite responsible to their actions.

    Governments are also great examples of this lack of responsibility. In Canada, at least, we are constantly awash in news and investigations of our Liberal government abusing and wasting tax dollars because of a lack of responsibility to money. Decisions go unpunished and the drive to be better is stifled because of this, whereas in corporate environments there are these abstract concepts, such as money, which drive people to often be the best they can.

  2. Hmmm… depends on what he means by art being “consumed”… does he just mean “purchased”? I would think that street art would be as good an argument against this idea as any. The street artist creates art to be appreciated by the public with no expectation of compensation – in fact the artist does so at hir own expense (for materials) and at great risk. In many cases street artists have also become successful commercial artists, but for the most part the only reward is glory within a particular community.

    Incidentally, I should have some more thoughts on money this week re: buy nothing day.

  3. Good point. Graffiti artists have the leisure of their work being consumed in the same manner as advertisements in public spaces, so in their case the medium is part of the message. Also, those that partake in the medium of graffiti ? working with the street as a medium ? would appear to have more of a social connection to its culture and lingo. It’s this connection that keeps them on the forefront of what is consumable by the public and their works reflect a certain parody of that.

    “True artists,” as the moral majority would argue, use the traditional venues for their art. However, it is here and in many fields of art that I argue that artists are disconnected from their audience.

  4. I think that to be paid to make artwork, or to make artwork and sell is a vital concept though, not to be lost amongst the romanticism of street art. Many street artists go out of there way to differentiate themselves from commercial artists. What they’re doing is more than art, and illegal, which is why they’re doing it for free(they couldn’t actually get paid to bomb the walls of a Bank of America, or could they?). That same style, sold on a T-shirt, is nothing but an aesthetic without content. I love Banksy. I don’t need a Banksy shirt.

    But to make money(or anything that would allow the artist to continue living and it be his primary source of income) is something to be valued. On a social level, it says that the “job” of being an artist is important to society. That artwork is important enough,and that teaching art to childrenin schools is worthwhile and vital. It also creates better art, since the artist is free to perfect his or her skills. Plus, it’s hard to have motivation when you’re not recieving any support for it.

    Or as Immortal Technique put it: “So wait a minute: you want me to go shopping, cook the food, and put it in front of you, and you won’t let me sit down and eat with you?”

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