How Money Affects our Mind – 4 Things Money Does to Your Brain

Have you ever daydreamed or thought about living the rich and luxurious lifestyle? I know I have. Truth is, at one point we all have imagined ourselves in a world where we have financial freedom to buy almost anything we wanted. So why do we get these dreams of having a mansion with a Lamborghini parked in the driveway? Or even touring the whole world on vacation.This is a question I have thought about myself as well.

In fact, kids and adolescents are more likely to daydream about being rich and famous than adults. This is because they can experience more identities and life possibilities as adults tend to daydream more realisticly. Daydreaming itself is a pretty big investment, as we spend up to half of our mental activity on daydreams. When we drift off into the daytime dreamland we are slightly detached from our current situations, and when we daydream about being rich it is because these fantasies reflect a need to rise above the frustrations of our own life.

But, what if all this really were real? What if you actually owned a big mansion with a Lamborghini out parked out front? Would our behavior change after having all this money? Today I present to you 4 ways money affects our mind.

Money Motivation:

Many studies suggest that money can alter a person’s behavior, but not always for the good side of the swings set. Luckily there are many grateful wealthy people that donate portions of their piggy banks to good causes, but this is an exception. Our thoughts, behavior, and actions link to our psychology; including factors from  the way that you were raised to even genetics.
Money may not control your beliefs but it may influence your attitude and behavior towards others.

In a study to find the motivations to complete a given task there were 3 groups of subjects. These 3 groups were given the breaking a sweat task of moving circles from one side of a computer screen to the other side. The first group was asked to complete the task as a favor, the second for a slim 50 cents, and the third group for 5 dollars.  Talk about easy money. The end result suggested there are 2 reasons for motivation to complete a given task. Social motivation was found as the first motivator because when we recognize a tasks social value we see the time to do it as a worthy investment. However when money is brought to the table in return for the completion of a task we tend to think more about the business value of the deal rather than the social side of it. This may lead to serious problems in one’s work life. If you feel underpaid you may be at risk to underperforming in the workplace.


The amount of money you bring in could affect the way you view others, and guess this, even yourself. One study asked individuals to rate things such as their income class, genetics, and even I.Q. levels. The results were eventually analyzed and produced the result of an individuals sense of “class essentialism”.  The wealthier the respondent the deeper sense of “class essentialism” the individual possessed. Wealthy respondents were found to believe that class was based on genetics. The same respondents also believed that life was fair and you what you deserve. However, those belonging to a lower class believed class and wealthiness has nothing to with genetics.

Money Cravings:

Addiction begins with a positive response to a specific behavior. Chasing the same behavior for the same response may trigger addiction.
Some people have become addicted to earning money. I am sure that at one point of time you have received a rather large amount of money to fill up that empty wallet you once had. Think about the feeling you had when your wallet was now full of money, did it feel good to have money in your pockets? I am sure it did, and this good feeling, or positive response could lead to addiction. Compulsive shopping follows the same process. When a compulsive shopper buys something their brain releases dopamine, a feel good chemical. This positive response leads to the person chasing this behavior more and more to feel the positive response, thus leading to addiction. These addictions like any other has the potential to become dangerous. The want for money may become dangerous if you begin to perform illegal acts to get money. Compulsive shopping can become dangerous when you put either yourself or others at risk if you spend more bank than you can bring in.

Morals and Ethics:

Who is more likely to not follow the rules? Whether it’s interrupting someone or taking more than one piece of candy from that candy bowl that has a sign clearly stating to please only take one piece, one study set out to find an answer. Respondents that found themselves as a higher class were more likely to break the rules as long as it benefitted them. The “What do I have to gain from it” mindset is more often possessed by those who hold a higher wealth class. They pursue the most benefits for themselves, making them great for the business industry. So does business and or money have much room for ethics? Nope, not really.

Further Review:

After further review there seems to be apparent correlation between wealthiness and selfishness. The more wealthy you seem to be the more selfish you are. If you have more wealthy your even more likely to bend the rules from time to time to benefit your favor.
Even having more money could make you believe you are rich just from your genetics and that you deserve to be rich. This all may be real but the way someone acts when they run into money could also be affected by the way they were raised. So yes money can have the potential to change someone. Money can even make a person go crazy with an addiction.

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