Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How You Spend Affects How Much You Spend: Credit, Scrip and Gift Certificate Purchases Found to be Higher than Cash Buys

09.09.2008
There is fresh evidence that people spend less when paying cash than using credit, cash-equivalent scrip or gift certificates. They also spend less when they have to estimate expenses in detail.

These findings appear in the September issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, published by the American Psychological Association.

The conclusion that cash discourages spending, and credit or gift cards encourage it, arises from four studies that examined two factors in purchasing behavior: when consumers part with their money (cash versus credit) and the form of payment (cash, cash-like scrip, gift certificate or credit card).

The results build on growing evidence that, as the authors wrote, “The more transparent the payment outflow, the greater the aversion to spending, or higher the ‘pain of paying.’” Cash is viewed as the most transparent form of payment.

... more about:
»APA »Business Vision »Buys »Credit »Gift »Spend

Priya Raghubir, PhD, of the Stern School of Business at New York University, and Joydeep Srivastava, PhD, of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park, asked participants to read various buying scenarios and answer questions about how much would they spend using cash versus various cash equivalents

In the first study, 114 participants estimated how much they would pay using various payment forms for a vividly described restaurant meal. The results showed that “People are willing to spend (or pay) more when they use a credit card than when using cash,” the authors wrote. They attributed the difference in spending behavior to the way cash can reinforce the pain of paying.

The authors also found that people who said they were more thoughtful in real life about amounts charged to credit spent less when using a fictitious card.

In the second study, researchers highlighted the future pain of paying by having 57 participants estimate food expenses for an imaginary Thanksgiving dinner item by item, rather than a holistic total. When they did this, the cash-credit spending gap closed. When people confronted the detailed reality of expenses, it no longer mattered whether they used cash or something else.

The next two studies examined spending differences relative to mode, not timing. In Study 3, 28 participants given a detailed shopping list were found to spend more when they used a $50 gift certificate instead of $50 cash.

In Study 4, 130 participants were given $1 cash or a $1 “gift certificate” to buy candy. At first, they were more willing to spend the gift certificate than the cash. After holding the gift certificate in their wallets for an hour, thus treating it like cash, they became less likely to spend it -- a sign that they had assimilated its value. When researchers again highlighted the difference in transparency between cash and gift certificates, people reverted to their original behavior.

Thus, it appears that simple manipulations can alter spending behavior, and that consumer warnings about the deceptive ease of non-cash payments have merit. “The studies suggest that less transparent payment forms tend to be treated like [play] money and are hence more easily spent (or parted with),” the authors wrote. “Treating nonlegal tender as play money leads to overspending that authorities can warn consumers about.”

Article: “Monopoly Money: The Effect of Payment Coupling and Form on Spending Behavior,” Priya Raghubir, PhD, New York University, and Joydeep Srivastava, PhD, University of Maryland, College Park; Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, Vol. 14, No 3.

(Full text of the article is available from the APA Public Affairs Office and at http://www.apa.org/journals/releases/xap143213.pdf)

Priya Raghubir can be reached at raghubir@stern.nyu.edu or by phone at 925-639-0775. Joydeep Srivastava can be reached at srivasta@rhsmith.umd.edu or by phone at 301-405-9665.

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more than 148,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.

Public Affairs Office | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.apa.org/journals/releases/xap143213.pdf
http://www.apa.org

Further reports about: APA Business Vision Buys Credit Gift Spend

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>