Poverty, Stress Strain Cognitive Abilities (Washington Post)



A new study published in Science has found that poverty can make people more susceptible to bad decisions, the Washington Post reports. The results of two studies, one conducted on farmers in India and the other on shoppers in a New Jersey mall, show that “people wrestling with the mental strain of poverty suffered a drop of as much as 13 points in their IQ — roughly the same found in people subjected to a night with no sleep.”

“Poverty is the equivalent of pulling an all-nighter,” said Sandhil Mullainathan, a Harvard economist and one of the study’s authors. “Picture yourself after an all-nighter. Being poor is like that every day.”

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