Poverty may tax thinking abilities

But sudden windfalls improve poor people's mental fortunes

By Bruce Bower, 12:17 PM August 29, 2013

Poverty drains brains while it empties pocketbooks, a new study concludes.

Money worries consume poor people’s attention, dramatically undermining their performance on IQ-related tests of reasoning and mental control, say economist Anandi Mani of the University of Warwick in Coventry, England, and her colleagues. Among the poor, but not the rich, evoking financial concerns damages reasoning abilities about as much as going a night without sleep or losing 13 IQ points, Mani’s team reports in th...

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