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Save more moolah, the Groundhog Day movie way

Washington, Jan. 2 : Thinking about time as a cycle of recurring experiences - like it was shown in the flick 'Groundhog Day' - could help people increase their personal savings, a new research has revealed.


Psychological scientist Leona Tam of the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia, and Utpal Dholakia of Rice University hypothesized that a cyclical mindset should make people less likely to defer saving money by boosting their ability to make concrete plans and decreasing overly optimistic thinking about the future.

In an initial study with 157 participants, the researchers found that participants who were prompted to take a linear perspective - focused on achieving goals so that the future will be easier - projected they would save less money in the next month than those who read about a cyclical method, focused on making routines and habits now to repeat over time.

To find out, the researchers ran a second study with 145 adults. The participants read one of three prompts about personal savings and were told to apply that approach to their own savings over the next two weeks.

Participants who were prompted with a linear mindset and those who received no savings instructions saved, on average, 130 dollars to 140 dollars after two weeks. By contrast, participants prompted with the cyclical mindset put away about 223 dollars, roughly 82 per cent more than the other two groups.

Just as the researchers expected, people in the cyclical mindset group were able to save more, at least in part, because they developed more concrete plans and were less optimistic about future money-making in comparison to their linear-thinking counterparts.

The findings have been published in Psychological Science.

--ANI (Posted on 02-01-2014)

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