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Poverty, Salience and Inter-temporal Decisions

Health & Psychology United States of America

Credit: photosteve101

This study aims to test a mechanism linking poverty with impatience that has been frequently cited in the literature, but not rigorously demonstrated: poverty induces impatience by making immediate needs more salient. I will use an experimental RCT focused on time constraints to test if shifting attention to future constraints leads to less future discounting. If this hypothesis is supported then it will help eliminate several other proposed mechanisms linking poverty and impatience. This study is the experimental component of a two-part study aimed at understanding how the psychological impact of poverty induces impatient behavior, which can further reinforce poverty.

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