Brain Research: Stash Credit & Debit Cards, Use Cash

January 22nd, 2009

Sharon Begley in Newsweek has wonderful articles on science how they relate to how we live our lives.

The Dec 15, 2008 issue reveals research that points out that we buy less when we pay with cash because the insula in our brain registers the tangible loss of coins and currency but the same thing doesn’t happen with cards – I know the feeling as I confidently buy my latte on my debit card then hesitate to decide what cash tip to leave.

Credit cards numb us to the pain of parting with money and we are also willing to pay more for the same item on credit than with cash. When we are depressed we both overshop and overpay because we think less of ourselves and try to overcompensate by acquiring stuff.

Certain neurons in the ventral caudate do complex reasoning that affect such things as tracking previous sale prices which make it harder to pay full price later on and stock purchase and sale decisions.

To read the entire article see Inside the Shopping Brain