Inquiry 5; Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs Inquiry


“Money is all” attitude and alienation from society. Alienation occurs in higher ranges when money is put into upmost importance and relation to materialism. A study shown that people were surveyed to see how Korea, U.S., and Sweden relate money with the “is all view” and alienation outcome. The study suggested Korea had recognized itself as this view and suggested that status defined success. The problem with such opinion is that we lose a sense of true happiness and well-being when we have the mindset leading to alienation.

Selfish preferences and social preferences and connection between self and other human beings. At first this seems like a good source. Looking more into the idea of moral hypocrisy and its relation with behavior and money does somewhat correlate with my inquiry. Moral hypocrisy being when someone else does the same wrong doing you have done but seeing one person worse/better than yourself. The rest of the article went in depth with economics and became very difficult with vocabulary such as Dictator Games and other forms. What I am interested is this idea of moral hypocrisy.

Moral hypocrisy research

moral hypocrisy and moral inconsistency

Hypocrisy at its simplest term is dishonesty and the term practice what you preach is not being practiced. Also one might not have believed what they were saying themselves at a time. The article focusses on explaining the history of hypocrisy way back from biblical times and I no longer see the correlation between moral hypocrisy and money. I leave this breadcrumb alone.

The mention of the Dictator Game was brought up again in this article and the correlation of this idea with European and African students. A dictator game is meant to test behavior of humans and their choices on power and fairness. The article went on to discuss how more economically stable people and places, US and European countries, are more likely to measure productivity. Poorer countries are less likely to reward productivity and this in turn result in a slow developing country economically. Americans and Europeans reward productivity and effort and might be the reason for us economically stable in comparison to an agriculturally based society like African countries.

“World Values Survey, the US General Social Survey and the European Social Survey indicate that, within developed market-driven societies, the poor favor redistribution while the rich do not.”

This statement can correlate to the idea of inquiry where there is income inequality between societies but not necessarily because of the circulation of money and government but within society’s behaviors and social norms.

Kindness and increase wages

Workers perform better when a surprised increased wage was enacted. Also workers were more likely to do more hours or volunteer work with the higher wage and found to be more honest. This is a prime example of how humans behave with money being the motive or tester. The surprising part was that this heightened sense of positive work only lasts temporarily and doesn’t persist after 1-3 hours of the wage increase. Multiple theories are hypothesized in relation to timing and wages. If a wage increase is done once and never again, workers only show kindness for a short period. If wage increase were done periodically, workers continue to show kindness up to last wage increase is performed. Workers also the sensation of receiving a gift, not just monetary, also triggers positive response with work. The first and second hypothesis suggest only a period of positive response by workers where it shortly ends because no more wages are increased. With a one-time wage increase the workers only show positive results right after and no time after that. With s two step increase workers are more likely to show positive results every time an increase happens, and with gifts the workers show a highly productive and less exaggerated performance of work than the other tests.

A test like this is helpful for me because it shows how money changes the attitudes of us making us feel better for just a short time and when continually earning things we are more likely to continue to feel and perform better but without it we don’t feel any burst of positive work ethic. This kind of human behavior can represent how money isn’t everything because we only short term feel better with a reward.

status seeking and socioeconomics

Conspicuous consumption; spending money or luxury seeking to show off economic power to public.

People often compare themselves to others to reassure one is well off. Studies done on comparison consumption where people rely on comparing their incomes to others to reassure one is doing fine or better. Consumption is the signal used to show off status so spending and showing off materials is the premise of status seeking. The article presents status seeking of other multiple socio economic domains and introduces conspicuous health

Conspicuous health; comparison of one’s health to others. As one person’s health deteriorates due to decline of social norm in relation with health, one is satisfied to know they’re better off with their own health.

“We explore the implications of a utility function that includes a role for relative health concerns in terms of equilibrium labor choices and optimal income taxation, where we find an increase in concerns for conspicuous health to reduce the rationale for higher marginal taxation.”

This quote could help me with inquiry in that it’s a prime example of behavior and its relation to status and how if an optimal income taxation were made the effects of social status and health play in with an established tax rate.

role of hierarchy and promoting selfishness

The relationship between seeking power and altruism.

Altruism; the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

Experiments were done onto two groups using dictator and ultimatum games. One group used the surplus of fake money and distributed it evenly among members, this is an example of altruism. In a power setting, the other group distributed surplus by ranking, The person with highest rank got to decide the distribution of surplus. Conclusion was with hierarchal society there is less room for altruism and more room for selfish behavior.

It will be helpful to find more experiments done like this and when I did look into ore of it, I actually got the previous article to show up. I think I should go back and try to understand what all this article is saying because it might actually hold some significant information. Also I notice how dictator games keep showing up.

To find more experiment base articles will help solidify my inquiry with tested information with actual results instead of just hypothetical assuming information. The experiments help in researching social behaviors and relate it back to things like income inequality and society’s mindsets with money and the norms behind it.


What I found overall from researching was I was constantly digging deeper from one article to the next. Once I found a term from one article I found to be relevant, I went deeper into that term to find more information. The result of the digging was coming up with these final sites I found depicted my inquiry and beyond that. I just wanted to explain how out of probably looking at 20 sites that these were the ones that were relevant and this method of researching, although time consuming and frustrating, really does work in finding information I would’ve never thought to look up.


The Money Group_Inquiry 4

Larissa’s posts;

At first Larissa goes through the history of money and I really see how much research she has done. When we really start getting into inquiry I can tell how hard it’s getting to research around the topic and diverting into other money related information. I don’t, however, see this as a bad thing because I went through the same thing and it is helping me develop into a bigger picture question. I think she is doing great on finding information, a hard as the topic may be. What I like the most is her last inquiry post where she is really changing her routes on her aspect of inquiry and finding new ways to talk about money than just the history.

Natalia’s posts;

I personally think Natalia got the hardest topics of our inquiry project because they will all be opinion based. Because of this, she might want to consider altering her questions a bit to see if there would be information out there with valid background research. Maybe it might help if she didn’t focus on the current questions she has now and making up a new one that she finds of interest and once that’s made, connecting the new questions with her topic questions and seeing if there’s any way of researching from there. Natalia in my opinion is doing really well with her topic and really going in depth with inquiry. I just believe it would help her if she tweaked her questions/topics a bit to get more information that’s probably out there.

Overall, I like the amount of effort my group has put in so far. I don’t think explaining money is a simple task because of how large a scope it can be, but my group is doing really well in sticking to certain aspects of money and explaining it. I think if we all fixed our topics to look at a bigger picture idea we could really connect all our information. What I mean is right now we are still sticking to our initial topic questions we assigned ourselves at the beginning but as we keep questioning our information we can start developing important questions that relate to money. I think once we start developing more intellectual questions our topics will start to overlap and come together. I believe it would help if we all met at some point and just discuss what we have so far and there we can start really thinking out of the box and helping each other dig into a bigger picture idea of the project.


Income Inequality and Social Behavior

In the How Income Inequality Harms Societies video, Richard Wilkinson talks about how if we were to compare multiple social issues with gdp or wealth of a nation and there is no correlation between the two. What his point was that the overall well-being of a nation isn’t dependent on income anymore, what does matter is the differences between each other (society) and our relation to each other. He makes a statement where in short he states that bigger income gaps lead to deterioration’s in social relations, human capital, and health. What really sticks out to me in this statement is the social relations aspect. He finalizes his issue with “More inequality leads to valued and devalued peoples, status insecurity, and social evaluative judgment increasing. If we were to improve the real quality of human life by reducing the differences of income between us we would have a handle of social well- being of whole societies. Where my inquiry steps in with what Wilkinson is saying is the whole idea of status insecurity and worry of how we are seen or judged as a problem from income inequality. This is where I believe social class is made from, the whole premise that we worry about what others think of us in relation to money stems from the inequality made from societies income. If I were to look into more detail of what Wilkinson’s stats were summarized I believe I’ll find how our behavior really is affected by the unequal class gaps. The writers frame in this case was to see how economy has nothing to do with society’s well-being but rather our human relationship with others. Here I can have a number of questions as to why we have social distinctions but I am limited in excluding income and economy as a factor to this issue which is a problem because I believed the premise of this was money… but in Wilkinson’s statement it isn’t.

Signaling, Inequality and the Social Structure is an article written by Ann Ferrer and the relationship between social status and human capital. Now this article I will say is one that is difficult to understand but one point Ferrer makes time and time again is the idea that making status more valuable leads to individuals replace wealth with talent. What this causes is the determination social status depending on how much weight one puts on the use they get from status versus income, and on the overall importance of a position on society ranks. Relating this back to my inquiry is an interesting point I haven’t considered. As individuals we no longer care about income rather care more about the place we are because of income. It’s not so much the money anymore but our role in society’s class. This aspect opens up completely new door for my inquiry. The article is dense and a hard read but if I were to break this down I would see really our human behavior and this idea of looking rich. The frame of the writer was to exclude the economic side of social structure and focus on the behavior that makes up the structure. Again this limits the idea that my inquiry focused on the money aspect of human behavior but I’m seeing it’s really not about the money rather than the relationship between people. What’s hard about this is finding all this information when it is all about human behavior, and this is a very large scope to just google and pull out information for because of its broadness.

A new light to connect income and inequality is the result these two things are causing. An article that explains just is “Health and social cohesion: why care about income inequality?” written by Ichiro Kawachi and Bruce P Kennedy. Previously, Wilkinson had touched on this aspect of income inequality, but this article relates it to mortality rates in the US caused by such. The issue is because of income inequality, the gap between rich and poor leads to higher immortality rates and a breakdown of social cohesion. Human cohesiveness is undermined in a society with class breakdowns, the fact that the rich assume 40% of the total income of the nation while only being part of 1% of the population is the basis of the gaps. The saying “the rich get richer” truly implies in the context of income inequality. Not only does this cause frustrations of families, and stress but leads to crime and violence. Education is being affected by income disparities and all this eventually leads to shorter lives for the poor. If social cohesiveness isn’t implied, the gap between incomes of classes will just keeping growing and worse consequences of unequal resources. The writers frame is income inequality causing negative results for the poor but I see beyond this. I see a social norm being created slowly with- out us people noticing. We have always been aware that low income and being poor is unhealthy but we aren’t realizing how close we all are to be considered in the section of poor. To think that the rich account for 40% of the nation’s wealth only leaves a huge gap between us average earning citizens to the wealthy. We are closer to being poor and before we know it there will be no middle class and we’ll start to feel the effects of these gaps, we will soon have social disparities. Aside from what I took from the article, my only limit is having a connection between my initial thought of behavior and social status to know what I am seeing as social disconnect. This article in itself is limiting me to find a larger picture of income inequality because it is only focused on the health problems with income inequalities, what I want to know is how we got there and I do believe social behavior plays a factor.

As I was sifting through pages and pages of articles relating to my topic I came across; Economic strain and perceptions of social cohesion in Europe: Does institutional trust matter?, and found this a great examples of what Wilkinson, Kuwachi, and Kennedy were talking about earlier. The article examines social cohesion among Europeans in relation to institutional trust and economic strain. The results were the poorer household experienced less cohesion. Those who trusted policies involved in an institution experienced more cohesion, and institutional trust moderated cohesion and economic strain. The article goes on and discusses how they came up with testing this question and the extent of the results. What I got out of it was there is no right or wrong in the results of the test but rather a distinction between those who trust institutions and their income. The writers frame is the basis of trust in relation to income but I see a distinction between classes and again disparities within society. Although this article was content full and hard to read I can see this as a helpful example of the reality of income inequality. My point of view of the writers frame was just that because of gaps of income there will be a certain distrust of institutions by poorer groups because it is technically the institutions that play a role for why the groups are poor. As far as asking questions beyond what the author was trying to say I didn’t see more in the article than what I think I can find in other articles. I think because of this, this makes the article a limit in itself for me.

Psychology between money’s existence and why as humans we give it importance… continued

Previous links;


I believe in the idea that money is the root of all or evil or that money is the problem. The statement “to our psychological connection with money and how we have given money such an importance” suggests that I too believe in the notion that we are all guilty in caring too much about money. We all get caught up with this idea that money has so much worth that we become selfish about lending a hand, no one does that out of the kindness of their heart and if they do its highly unlikely that they live life like most people. I don’t think anyone on this planet would ever truly say “money isn’t everything” and believe it. Money is what keeps the world going, that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing though. With money comes greed, selfishness, lying cheating, and essentially more problems. The statement of money being humankind’s drug is totally agreeable on my part, money is the thing that drives us crazy. We would do crazy things for money or we would consistently dwell on not having. The fact is money is always on everyone’s mind, if you have it you want more, if you don’t you’re always thinking about having it. I know this just by coming from a financially unstable family. I doubt there was any time in my parents’ life where they weren’t thinking about money. When they had it they were thinking about what can be paid for and spent, when they didn’t they thought about how they were going to come up with the money to pay for things. I find myself doing the same in my own life as I’m growing up, money is always on my mind whether for a temporary good time or for bad. When it’s good it’s for a split second and then comes the how am I going to get more, what can I get with it, what do I have to save/ pay for? I think even when we were to have a lot of money we would get so invested in spending it that we become greedy and buy useless things because we can. There seems to be no positive outcome of having a lot of money and having none.

Psychologists have measured our attitudes towards cash in many different ways, but most find there is a considerable emotional component. When people describe their attitudes to money, it’s more than just its utility that’s important – people actually either love it or hate it.

-Here a phrase where we see a lot being said but no information to back it up. The statement “in many different ways” sounds like there is, if there is, information being left out. Also the fact that there is only a love or hate emotions towards money suggests there is no room for any other emotion which is highly unlikely. Using people in general without informational backup makes this statement seem made up. Overall to make such a bold statement without detail leaves this argument to be empty. Also why is it that the attitudes of money is only good or bad, shouldn’t there be room for more like helpful or generous?

-Their view is that culture on its own is not powerful enough to explain the human motivation for money. Money, they argue, whether for good or evil, is part of human nature.

Here we have the same argument technically still being stated, that being money is just used for good an evil. Stating that it is in our nature to involve money as our only motivation. That suggests that the only reason for living is for money which has to be questioned for those who are giving in nature. With the people who are such, what makes them different than others who run their lives around money? The statement is much generalized where as we all know people are different and don’t have the same feelings towards money.

-The important thing is to understand it’s rarely ever about money. It’s almost always about money’s existence and how that money moves.

The whole article was explain relationships and money and this repeating statement as money moving. The statement is told multiple times but never is defined. This suggests this statement to be left to interpretation. Does money moving mean moving in our lives, affect people’s lives, running our lives, what does this mean?


-He said every time he dates he has to have a discussion about this with the new person because he doesn’t take wine and dine money from this budget. He cannot have a successful relationship with someone who believes that money should move towards them.

I find that by using a personal story or example automatically presents the direction of an argument you’re leading to. This statement suggests that money in relationships is always for spending on the other person and makes it seem as though women are only interested in money. This wasn’t a very smart example because it might offend some readers.  This statement brings up many arguments that divert to the explanation of money and its effect on human nature.

New Sources:

Rich people tend to be a source of envy and distrust, so much so that we may even take pleasure in their struggles, according to Scientific American.

-Who is we, the non-rich? Should there only be a difference between rich and non-rich as this article suggests? Is the only way to describe wealthy people to say they’re evil, this always comes back to leaving out people who are kind giving wealthy people? Why as a society do we place such stereotypes between income and how far does that affect a continuous cycle of having separations between rich and poor? Was it the stereotype that came first or the behavior that makes a rich person have such characteristics, and because it is most likely the behavior, why does status give people a certain way to act?


-After a certain level of income that can take care of basic needs and relieve strain (some say $50,000 a year, some say $75,000), wealth makes hardly any difference to overall well-being and happiness and, if anything, only harms well-being: Extremely affluent people actually suffer from higher rates of depression.

“Hardly any difference” isn’t a good choice of words because who actually has researched happiness and income enough to make such a statement.  Who are the some that say that amount of income is an income that takes care of basic needs. Aren’t basic needs different to different people like those with a chronic illness? Who defines affluent people? The choice of words in this statement are poor because they are only defining a stereotype and not all people.

Part  2/3 Combined:

-Money has served as a symbol of the infinite potential for human accomplishment. As such it has released enormous energy, creativity and initiative in society. But the ultimate source of that unlimited creative energy is the individual and the society, not money.” (MSS)… The ultimate foundation for the value of money is not material wealth but the value of human beings.

This statement here answers many of the “buts” phrases because it is defining people in neither positive or negatie side, its just people. With this article it shows money and its relation to society as a whole with no rich vs. poor side or evil and good money.Finding more articles like these can really help find the behavioral aspect of human and money without generalizing or pointing out groups of people.

What I came to find out with pointing out biases, was new topics I can take this project in. The direction I am interested is how why have a system in which the rich have a higher ranking than I guess the average person. Because of status and stereotype we continuously have these ideals about money and this makes it become so important in our lives. The research I should now focus on is income distinctions and status relation back to behavior of humans and money.


Psychology between money’s existence and why as humans we give it importance

It is kind of hard to put something into google without really knowing what you want to know. What I have established as my two questions are; the psychology between owing someone something… why as humans do we need to be paid back? And also was there a turning a point for money to come into existence?

I come to understand this is what the whole inquiry project is going to feel like; looking for answers that don’t really exist or even need answers. Anyways, what I came to find out is how large the scope of money and its relationship to mankind extends from. There are so many routes my two questions for this one broad topic can go. The information I have found all go back to our psychological connection with money and how we have given money such an importance. Going back to a trade system before money physical existed, humans would give something like cattle in exchange for wheat. An article I found put this in perspective of a winning party whom would survive much longer than the other party who gained less from a trade. Even before money existed, we found a way to take something as simple as helping someone else into a benefit for oneself ideal, meaning even when there was no money we still found ways to be selfish. This ideal stems from the thrills money can give us even without a monetary value. Instinctively we make money have more value than its actual worth because of the need to benefit oneself. I am unsure if what I am saying is making any sense but it is mostly because there is a very much abstraction with money and its connection with us humans.

Money is almost like a drug for humans, it is a second nature to us and this goes back to the whole trading system and survival. Now in current times we can’t get satisfaction in having money enough to survive, we always want more. Even if we were swimming in money, we want more. Many articles described this want for money back to being animals of nature to hoard things and also our relationship with money as a drug that we never get satisfaction from. One article explained how we put so much worth in money when in reality it isn’t as high of value as we put it to be. A study done in 1947 by Bruner and Goodman found that poor children were saying money was physically larger than objects that were actually bigger in size. The conclusion of this mentality is as humans, we make money provoke us into all sorts of bizarre behavior that can’t easily be explained in terms of its function purely as a tool. This ideal can be broken down into five categories to make this behavior understandable. One which was already introduced is making money bigger than it is, two is that because money is always changing its value we change our mindset about it consistently as in, one dollar wasn’t worth the same 100 years ago as it is now. Third, we like moneys form and resist it to change such as our resistance to making a one dollar bill into a coin. The fourth notion is we have an emotional attachment to money and when asked to describe it we often describe it as we love or hate it, regardless it makes us feel some type of way. And lastly, we give restrictions on money when it is acceptable and when it isn’t like say in politics or a new relationship. The fact of all these points is we give, as one author wrote, money its importance as not its intrinsic value but of how money moves.

As said before, there is such a large scope of money and its importance in humans lives that I can’t explain in one essay. The fact is there are many opinions and scholarly research done on money and its psychological relationship we have to it that requires a lot of organization and separation of information in order to make sense of it. What I still haven’t really found information about is the exact turning point of money coming into existence, the information I have found has so far only brushed on the transition between trading and metal as monetary exchange. The positive is I have found a lot of information out there, luckily, but it will just require a lot of planning out for me to securely establish what it is I am trying to say and actually inquire on.





Money on my mind