Mere exposure to money increases endorsement of free-market systems and social inequality

Eugene M. Caruso*, Kathleen D. Vohs, Brittani Baxter, Adam Waytz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present research tested whether incidental exposure to money affects people's endorsement of social systems that legitimize social inequality. We found that subtle reminders of the concept of money, relative to nonmoney concepts, led participants to endorse more strongly the existing social system in the United States in general (Experiment 1) and free-market capitalism in particular (Experiment 4), to assert more strongly that victims deserve their fate (Experiment 2), and to believe more strongly that socially advantaged groups should dominate socially disadvantaged groups (Experiment 3). We further found that reminders of money increased preference for a free-market system of organ transplants that benefited the wealthy at the expense of the poor even though this was not the prevailing system (Experiment 5) and that this effect was moderated by participants' nationality. These results demonstrate how merely thinking about money can influence beliefs about the social order and the extent to which people deserve their station in life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-306
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Volume142
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Fingerprint

Capitalism
Vulnerable Populations
Ethnic Groups
Transplants
Research
Experiment
Free Market
Social Inequality

Keywords

  • Free market
  • Money
  • Social inequality
  • System justification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental Neuroscience

Cite this

Caruso, Eugene M. ; Vohs, Kathleen D. ; Baxter, Brittani ; Waytz, Adam. / Mere exposure to money increases endorsement of free-market systems and social inequality. In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 2013 ; Vol. 142, No. 2. pp. 301-306.
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Mere exposure to money increases endorsement of free-market systems and social inequality. / Caruso, Eugene M.; Vohs, Kathleen D.; Baxter, Brittani; Waytz, Adam.

In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Vol. 142, No. 2, 01.01.2013, p. 301-306.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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