Does Money Leave You Feeling Cold?

Does Money Leave You Feeling Cold?

Does Money Leave You Feeling Cold?

Money is such an important part of our lives and is viewed as the key to success, power and social status by many. 

As such a powerful tool it is bound to have a profound effect on us.

Previous research has found some interesting things when it comes to money:

individuals who have been reminded of money (e.g., by grasping banknotes) show less inclination to help other people and place less importance on their social lives

and physically distance themselves from others. Likewise, reminders of money cause individuals to cheat more frequently and to show a higher inclination to engage in behavior that could be harmful to other people

In summary psychologists have deemed that money can lead to social coldness, it literally causes coldhearted behaviour.

But researchers have taken a new twist on this theory by examining if thinking about money can actually make people feel physically cold:

Recent research suggests that the metaphor of ‘‘social coldness’’ is bodily grounded and thus linked to actual sensations of physical coldness.

We therefore hypothesized that reminding individuals of money causes them to feel physically colder

The research team conducted 2 studies in order to examine this idea, both were aimed at finding a link between thinking about money and physical coldness.

Once the results had been collected the researchers were able to find support for their hypothesis:

The results of two studies suggest that reminding individuals of money leads them to feel physically colder compared to individuals not reminded of money

This was demonstrated in the 2 studies in different ways:

In Study 1, reminders of money led to a lower estimate of room temperature. In Study 2, participants primed with money experienced a contrast effect of water temperature relative to their own feelings of coldness

This study certainly provides a fascinating example of how money can make people feel different and how they may experience things differently.

With regard to money—given its ubiquity in everyday life—it is of high relevance to investigate money’s influence on individuals’ experiences


The Cold Heart: Reminders of Money Cause Feelings of Physical Coldness