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03rd Nov 2014

Feeling Stingy? This Study Shows It Could Be Causing You Stress…

It might pay to loosen up those purse strings...


You may think being stingy is helping you save, but a new study has shown that pinching the purse strings may actually affect our stress levels.

In an experiment conducted by Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, participants were paired off and each given a sum of money. The researchers then asked one of each pair to divide up the money however they liked, allowing the recipient to reject or accept the cash offer.

The study found that those who made lower offers (40% of the cash or less) had increased heart rates, as well as those on the receiving end of low offers. Researchers claimed heart rate-based economic experiment measured mental stress when it comes to money and decision making, but the authors noted that stingy participants may also have experienced stress due to feelings of guilt.

The results, which were published in the journal PLOS ONE, showed participants appeared more comfortable and head a steadier heart rate when they split the money equally or were more generous in dividing the sum.

Speaking about the results of the study, Markus Schaffner who was a co-author of the experiment said:

“The results indicate we have negative feelings when we treat someone unfairly, for example by offering below 40 percent of the total in the game. There is an emotional and physiological cost, and we feel uncomfortable.”