How does the concept of money affect an individual’s perception of the social and economic systems in the United States? A research team lead by Eugene Caruso found that individuals who were merely exposed to a computer background image of $100 dollar bills while reading the instructions of the experiment (compared with those who were not), were more likely to: 1) endorse a free-market ideology, 2) justify the current social order of the United States, 3) believe that the world is just (people get what they deserve), 4) believe that it is acceptable for some social groups to dominate others, and 5) structure resources according to a free-market ideology. The researchers suggest that activating an individual’s concept of money may lead him/her to believe in and even promote social and economic systems that maintain and foster inequality.
- Caruso, E. M., Vohs, K. D., Baxter, B., & Waytz, A. (2013). Mere exposure to money increases endorsement of free-market systems and social inequality. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 142(2), 301.