Individual Differences in the Social Psychology of Money

ABSTRACT INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN THE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF MONEY by Jason Anthony Tate Master of Arts in Psychology Psychological Science Option California State University, Chico Summer 2009 The present study examined individual differences in materialism as a moderator of the psychological consequences of money. Reminders of money have been shown to affect a sense of self sufficiency in individuals, resulting in both more autonomous behavior and less helpfulness. Participants were given a personality selfassessment questionnaire, with items including measures of materialism, socioeconomic status, and subjective well being. They then completed a puzzle task while either being reminded of money (via a poster) or not. Reminders of money did not affect whether the participants sought help, wanted help to be available to them, or wanted to work alone or with a partner. Reminders of money did not influence how much help participants offered with one exception: participants scoring high on materialism offered significantly less help when exposed to the money reminder, as compared to individuals scoring low x on materialism. Materialism was not found to be related to socioeconomic status or subjective social status, but was found to be negatively related to life satisfaction.