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Research Shows Money Worries Can Lower Your IQ

Posted on in Bankruptcy

Stressing over mounting debt and other financial issues could actually cause your intelligence level to drop. According to a combined study done by several top universities, worrying over money can reduce your IQ score by up to 13 points.

The study team was made up of researchers from Harvard, Princeton and the University of Warwick, located in Britain. They concluded that when people are spending so much time stressing about money, it uses up a good portion of what they refer to as “mental bandwidth” and that leaves little time to focus on anything else.

Researchers used two different groups for their study. The first group was shoppers at a New Jersey mall, made up of both low and middle class. The group was given a series of tests which measured impulse control and IQ. In order to trigger the stress process of the brain, before the testing, researchers had discussions with half of the group about how they would handle it if their vehicle broke down and the cost of the repairs were $1,500. That group performed much poorer on the tests than the other half of the group.

The second group was made up of sugar cane farmers living in a rural part of India. The first round of testing was given to the group at the end of the month, before they received pay. They were tested again the following month right after they had received their pay. The farmers had many fewer errors and higher IQ scores when tested right after being paid compared to their test scores when their funds had been depleted.

One of the members on the research team, Eldar Shafir, a professor from Princeton, pointed out that it is not the stress that leads to the errors in judgment and mistakes in decision making. It's the financial worries that do that. “The poor are often highly effective at focusing on and dealing with pressing problems,” he said. “But they don't have leftover bandwidth to devote to other tasks. So, if you live in poverty, you're more error prone and errors cost you more dearly – it's hard to find a way out.”

If you are struggling with financial debt and are feeling overwhelmed, contact an experienced Lake County bankruptcy attorney to find out what options you may have.

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