In the Company of Wealth: Investigating Money's Effects on Perceptions of the Self, the Social World, and the Supernatural

dc.contributor.advisorNewby-Clark, Ian
dc.contributor.authorDupuis, Darcy
dc.date.accessioned2012-07-03T19:14:41Z
dc.date.available2012-07-03T19:14:41Z
dc.date.copyright2012-06
dc.date.created2012-06-22
dc.date.issued2012-07-03
dc.degree.departmentDepartment of Psychologyen_US
dc.degree.grantorUniversity of Guelphen_US
dc.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen_US
dc.degree.programmePsychologyen_US
dc.description.abstractIn this thesis, I sought to establish whether the mere presence of money differentially affects the perception of competent and autonomous control over life outcomes among people of relatively low and high self-perceived wealth. According to my theoretical perspective regarding the effects of monetary cues, thinking about money should cause people to view themselves in terms of their own relative financial resources. As money is perceived as a resource that enables competent and autonomous control over life outcomes, the presence of money should cause people low in wealth to feel lower in personal control and autonomy and should motivate the preservation or retrieval of a sense of control and autonomy. By contrast, the presence of money should cause the wealthy to feel higher in personal control and autonomy. Three experiments were designed to test hypotheses stemming from this view and to broaden our understanding of how and why money affects cognition and behaviour. In Experiment 1, I tested whether a money prime affected perceived control, autonomy, and need for structure. For people low in self-perceived wealth, money decreased autonomy and control over life outcomes, and increased the need for structure. People high in wealth were not affected by the money prime. In Experiment 2, I examined whether the presence of money had consequences for interactions with others in social environments characterized by low and high structure. In a setting lacking structure, the presence of money caused people of lower socioeconomic status (SES) to prefer less social contact compared to people of higher SES. The interacting effects of money and SES diminished when the environment was structured in nature. In Experiment 3, I tested competing hypotheses regarding whether the presence of money can influence attitudes and beliefs about external sources of control. I found that when people who were lower in wealth were primed with money, versus not, they reported lesser belief in a controlling god. By contrast, when people of higher wealth were primed with money, versus not, they reported greater belief in a controlling god. I discuss my findings vis-à-vis the current perspective and previous money priming research.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipSocial Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
dc.description.sponsorshipOntario Graduate Scholarship
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10214/3765
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Guelphen_US
dc.rights.licenseAll items in the Atrium are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectmoneyen_US
dc.subjectwealthen_US
dc.subjectperceived controlen_US
dc.subjectautonomyen_US
dc.subjectprimingen_US
dc.titleIn the Company of Wealth: Investigating Money's Effects on Perceptions of the Self, the Social World, and the Supernaturalen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US

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