In one experiment, subjects exposed to concept of money via a word puzzle task were later less helpful to a person in need. "The mere present of money changes people," comments Kathleen Vohs, the leader of the study. Exposure to the money, or concept of the money, elevates a sense of self-sufficiency. People don't want to be a burden on others."
According to the results of the study, pictures of money, a tip lying on the table, thinking about your holiday bonus - all of these make people behave self-sufficiently. The results also indicate that these people also work longer before asking for help, are less helpful to the others, and prefer to play and work alone.
In addition, people who are exposed to the concept of the money can even put more physical distance between themselves and a new acquaintance compared to people who are not reminded of money.
All this may explain why the topic of money can seriously affect relationships between friends and lovers. As long as people want to be self-centered, there is little room for sharing or giving others.
"It's not malicious," says Vohs. "People are focused on their own goals -but unfortunately not others."