Hungry for Money: On the Fungibility of Financial and Caloric Resources
13 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2006
This paper attempts to provide an evolutionary explanation for humans' motivation to strive for money in present-day societies. We propose that people's desire for money is an adaptation of their desire for food. In three studies we show that feelings of financial and caloric scarcity are fungible. In Study 1, hungry participants were less likely to donate to charity than satiated participants. In Study 2, an olfactory food cue, known to increase the desire to eat, made participants offer less money in a "give some game" compared to participants in a room free of scent. In Study 3, the respondents' desire for money affected the amount of M&Ms® eaten in a subsequent taste test, but only for dietary-unrestrained participants.
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