'Powerful' People More Likely to Save Money
June 25, 2014 06:45 PM EDT
It's not education, upbringing or self-control that helps people save money. New research reveals that feeling powerful may promote money-saving habits.
"We were interested in knowing whether the decision to save or not save money was affected by how someone was feeling during the time they were making a savings decision," study authors Emily N. Garbinsky of Stanford University, Anne-Kathrin Klesse of Tilburg University and Jennifer Aaker of Stanford University, wrote in the study.
After evaluating five studies, researcher found that people are willing to save more money when they are made to feel powerful.
For example, "powerful" participants who sat in taller chairs were more likely to put their study compensation in a lab savings account than "powerless" participants who were assigned to sit in lower chairs.
Previous studies also found that the feeling of power only boosts saving habits when people are told they will be saving money to keep it. However, feeling powerful doesn't boost saving habits when people are given a specific reason to save like accumulate financial resources for the purpose of spending the resources later.
Researchers said that findings suggest that companies providing financial services like retirement planning can use these findings to help their customers prepare for the future. These findings could also help improve consumers' own person relationships with power and money.
"People who feel powerful use saving money as a means to maintain their current state of power. When saving no longer affords individuals the opportunity to maintain power, the effect of power on saving disappears," researchers concluded.
The findings were published in the Journal of Consumer Research.