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Money Is the Cause of Our Behavior Problems

Money is a necessity in the world we live in, you need it to survive. It’s just a piece of paper but it has so much value to it. When people get ahold of a lot of money whether it’s inherited, won from a lottery, or earned, they begin to behave differently. Money causes people to become greedy and careless whether it’s the poor or rich. This has always been an issue but of course as the years go by it gets worse. The prices in the market gradually increases making it easier for the poor to struggle while the rich are living no differently. There isn’t many people in the world that are willing to help the ones that are less fortunate. Money has become a dangerous necessity but people are the ones making it dangerous.

We know that money is ‘valuable’ but everyone doesn’t know the history or background of it. Money truly has no value itself, but the power it holds is to be used to purchase goods. Money has taken many forms through the ages. When trading first started it was with gold. In the broadcast by the Planet Money team at NPR, they explain how money began and that money just represents the value of gold but it’s not worth anything. Now with this information it’s confusing how people can be considered ‘wealthy’ because of the number in their bank account. It’s odd how this also causes a change in behavior. Money should not be causing a division in our world. We think money is so superior and we let it affect our lives too much but it’s just something we all use to purchase items.

Anyone could be greedy, whether that’s being wealthy their whole life or if they had their hard times and earned the wealth themself. All anyone cares about is themselves, this could be good but also bad under certain circumstances. If someone has the money or opportunity to help someone, they should but instead they take advantage of what they have. There isn’t enough good in the world, there is too much greed and selfishness. We are divided into classes and it’s normal to us. The lower class gets treated poorly while the higher class gets worshipped. The rich are given more and better opportunities as far as education and jobs. Schools that are known to be more successful with students learning more and absorbing everything, are the most expensive. To have a good paying job it’s more than likely that a college degree is needed. Money is used for everything but not everyone has the money to even try to be successful in life.

People with more money have more opportunities in life, they get advice from other rich people on how to continue having a good flow of funds or maintain it properly. In the article “Behavioral and wealth considerations for seeking professional financial planning help” it states that people with lower income don’t get the same advice but it may be to their fault. The financial planners have tools and expertise lacking in the general population. This article explains that “they find individuals with low financial risk tolerance and low satisfaction with their financial situation are more likely to seek advice from family, friends, and work colleagues, instead of from professional sources.” Although, this is the doing of the individual, the less fortunate don’t have the money to have professional help. They’ll just be spending money to learn from someone else, how they should properly save or how they can build their income. The rich have money to invest for financial advice so they take advantage of it and they take the advice as a compliment.

There are experiments that have been used showing how people’s behavior change in situations. In the article “The rich are easily offended by unfairness” the author explains how studies were held to show if the less wealthy or the more wealthy would accept the unfair offer. “In this game, the proposer gives the responder an unfair offer of CN¥2, but keeps the remaining CN¥8 out of CN¥10. If the responder accepts the offer, each receives the proposed amounts; otherwise both receive nothing. We chose the ¥2/¥8 offer that can elicit roughly 50% rejection rates” this states the basics of the experiments. The three studies were all very similar, showing that more of the poor would accept the unfair offer and the rich would deny it because they took the others into consideration. This shows how money has such a quick effect on ones behavior, the less wealthy are only thinking about how they never had that amount of money and how much it could benefit them. Money is so important in our lives that they don’t think twice in these situations. They become selfish.

Another unfair act is our taxing system. There should be greater acts in taxing the rich more than the poor, they should pay double. It is unfair given that the poor are already struggling as it is and now they are being taxed more than the ones who have enough money to pay. It makes absolutely no sense and is one of the inequalities in our world. Stated in the article “Taxing the Rich”, “Scheve and Stasavage argue that governments don’t tax the rich just because inequality is high or rising—they do it when people believe that such taxes compensate for the state unfairly privileging the wealthy.” This just explains how damaged our government is. It shouldn’t be that hard to make the rich have higher taxes and if not then both classes have equal taxes. Our world is built on inequality and no matter how much things are changed everyone will be treated unequally.

Greed is a problem whether we want to believe it or not. People are greedy with money, when they have a lot or little. It causes people to have behavioral problems. Some people don’t even realize the way it affects them because they are surrounded by people that act the same way. Money makes people feel superior and they abuse it which then leads to being rude but being rude is just the beginning of it. There are much worse situations that have escalated to violence. We should not be letting the amount of money we have in our account be the reason we act a certain way towards others. We are giving money too much power than it already has. Money already revolves around everything we need, there’s no reason to use it as a reason to have a change in behavior.

There is inequality globally with everything. There was an experiment held with University students and nationwide, to show how people act in situations of inequality. In the article “The rich are easily offended by unfairness” the author explains the game and the low income people were likely to take the offer while the more wealthy denied the offer. It’s not surprising given that the money would help them but it shows how important money is in our world. It shows how easily the poor were convinced when money was involved. People have a change in behavior when they have an opportunity to win a lottery. They become careless, but no one would give up the opportunity to get more money then someone else. Money has too much power in our lives. Everything we want or need, we have to use it.

When growing up we learn to act like those around us. We may not be corrected right from wrong when young but as we get older we learn the difference by observing others. We know who we should associate with and who we want to avoid. In the article “Money attitude-an abridgement” the article explains that individuals may have a negative behavior about money differences due to childhood experiences, high financial and social status. These are all accurate to cause a persons change in behavior but it’s just an excuse for them to act mean towards others. Learned behavior could be changed, if we feel like the way we act isn’t appropriate or mature then we should want to change. No one deserves to be mistreated due to the way we grew up. Poor people tend to be mistreated or belittled by people that are richer. The rich feel like their wealth gives them the right to be disrespectful to the poor.

Companies are even losing out on money due to the employees behavior. There is no excuse for an adult to have negative actions towards customers. It’s not hard to be nice but some people never matured enough to know how to act. The source “Rudeness at work: Impulse over restraint” states that this behavior drives customers away and although being rude isn’t an act of violence it could lead to that or worse. Money differences isn’t just causing behavior but behavior also causes the loss of money. People need to learn how to be more respectful because you never know what kind of day someone is having. Everyone wants to be treated with respect and kindness. Just because we are having a bad day it doesn’t mean we have to make someone else’s day bad. When in a working environment we are taught to treat the customers with kindness, it’s not a professional to do other wise.

Many behaviors can be picked up but we shouldn’t let money effect it. Money should not control the way we act or treat others. This has become a problem without anyone noticing, it’s become our normal. However, it’s not normal to have stingy people or unfairness. We should not be against each-other or bullying because of our social status. We have grown in a world that’s known to be rude, selfish, and needy. This doesn’t mean that it needs to continue to be like this. Just because our peers act a certain way it doesn’t make it right for us to. There is no reason to try and fit in with others. Disrespect gets you absolutely no where in life. Being snobby or rude due to your wealth is ridiculous because anyone can lose or gain more money any day. Money doesn’t define the way we are, but the way we act with it does. No one is better because of their social status, everyone has problems in life. A poor person and a rich person can have many similarities and just one difference which is the amount of money they have.

In life it’s common to bump into people that are rude, maybe not daily but it happens. People tend to put their private life situations out on others or even just be rude because of another persons status. A lot of adults lack behavior skills which could be due to the way they grew up, surrounded by wealthy people treating those that aren’t wealthy, disrespectfully. Some even grow the bad behavior over time, thinking they’re better than others and don’t need to give respect out to the less wealthy. Wealthy or not, everyone should be treated equally. Money or social class differences shouldn’t effect our behavior towards one another. Money doesn’t define us, it’s just a piece of paper that is used to purchase needs and wants.

Money even affects the motivation we have to do things. If we are bribed with money to do a task then we’ll want to do it more than if money wasn’t involved which would cause our behavior to be completely different. With no bribe we may drag while getting the task done or procrastinate. In the article “Merely activating the concept of money changes personal and interpersonal behavior” it explains how people can be more helpful when reminded of money, meaning having a reason to do something. This prompts people to work harder on challenging tasks, it leads to a desire to take more work than those not reminded of money. When money isn’t included people prefer solitary activities and less physical intimacy. Money has a big change in a persons behavior, they become more motivated and are likely to finish the task or challenge.

When we think of the poor and rich, we would assume that the poor would be greedy under the circumstances of money because they don’t have much and sometimes this is true but in the article “Are the rich more Unethical and greedy?” it states that the poor are actually kind and generous. The rich have the opportunity to do these things, instead they are the complete opposite. There was a test that was explained in this article, the testers watched as the more wealthy, expensive looking cars went through a crosswalk. The test was to see if the cars would yield for the walking pedestrians or if they would cut them off. While watching they noticed that all of the drivers with the least money yielded. On the other hand, the 46.4% of the wealthy drivers were “significantly more likely to drive through the crosswalk without yielding to the waiting pedestrian.” This shows how the more wealthy think they are better than the less fortunate. They don’t take others into consideration due to their status or visual profile.

The cause of an individuals behavior towards money could be because of many different things such as ones social status, personal values, family, life cycle, age, or educational level. This still doesn’t give them the right to give others negative behavior. People that are wealthy and have grown in a wealthy life style don’t know what the poor go through. Most assume that they are in tough positions because of things they’ve done but it’s not always like that. The same way someone can grow up in wealth is the way someone can grow up in a poor life. They don’t get the same opportunities as the rich do such as knowing successful people and having help with money issues. Money differences shouldn’t be affecting the way we act towards each other. Money has nothing to do with how our personalities are. Both poor and rich people can be rude but the rich tend to take advantage of what they have and use it as an excuse to act the way they do.

We become the ones we surround ourselves with. We pick up the way they act and do things even if it’s rude behavior or no respect for the less fortunate but as we grow older we usually mature. It’s in our power and control to change the way we act. In the article “Workplace bullying: It’s not just about lunch money anymore” it explains how not only are children being bullied at school for money but so are adults at work. Bullying is a problem but it’s not a legal problem so not much can be done. There are few, if any, laws that address the issue or provide the victim with any solution. The ones that are bullying are stuck in an immature life style. In a recent report it was shown that 35% of U.S workers claimed to be bullied while at work. Although this percent isn’t high, it’s still unfortunate that people can’t act properly even at work.


Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, The rich are easily offended by unfairness: Wealth triggers spiteful rejection of unfair offers Published, 5April 2017

Scheve, Kenneth and Stasavage, David. Taxing the rich , published 2018

Taneja, Rimple. Money attitude-an abridgement Published July 2012

Letkiewicz, Jodi; Robinson, Chris; Domian, Dale; Uborceva, Natallia “Behavioral and wealth considerations for seeking professional financial planning help” SSRN, 30 Sep.2015.

Johnson, Pamela and Indvik Julie, Rudeness at work: Impulse over restraint Published December 2001

Vohs, Kathleen; Mead, Nicole; and Goode, Miranda “Merely activating the concept of money changes personal and interpersonal behavior” Sage journals, 1 June. 2008.

Verschoor, C. Curtis “Are the rich more Unethical and greedy?” Institute of Management Accountants, May.2012.

Davidson, Dan and Harrington, K Vernard “Workplace bullying: It’s not just about lunch money anymore” Southern Journal of Business and Ethics, 2012.

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