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.”


  1. Peter H. Dragonas, MD, '59 says:

    My experience has been gained by on site visits, seminars and working as a professional interviewin people from the top 0.5% to the group that brings to light more questions than answers. The Judeo-Christian majority of our country has always shown compassion and rendered assistance to those who are victims of failed health or birth defects that are not of their own choosing.
    The inability of our leadership to lead with the knowledge of factors causing inability or disability to individuals is fact. Starting in the early 1960’s, a slow, yet steady increase in you of narcotics, illegal drugs has become a major factor in becoming an untreated “cancer” leading to a societal demise. Another, layer
    is the ingredients of our food products that first affect our well being and secondly end up in our water supply as we drink “so called” purified water. Another layer are pharmacological agents that may injure ones health, now banned in most countries. Add to this the addiction for sugar products, GMO’s, alcohol and nicotine(cigarettes have 125 chemicals added to tobacco) we are left with other environmental elements that contribute to our safety and we’ll being.
    Lastly, a word about the Keystone Pipeline Project. The accompanying toxic sands that will be brought to Texas and the Gulf of Mexico will bring with them the ability to destroy the Gulf of Mexico’s already challenged sea and land environment. Translated to humans working with the tainted oil and and carcinogenic elements of the sands, we find yet another layer of humans being reduced to helpless individuals. Along with better health plans for all, we need an army of leaders who can put serious pressure on state and federalocal government to abandon lobbyists and pac groups and stand up for the ‘True and Real Common Good! If Switzerland can do it, we have nobexcuse.

Leave a Comment