Not knowing when your next paycheck comes in literally hurts, researchers say
It perpetuates a vicious cycle of physical pain and psychological anguish.
Not knowing where your next paycheck may come from hurts, according to a 2016 study published in Psychological Science.
Researches looked at six studies, which found a strong link between financial insecurity and physical pain. It's not out of the question, past studies have shown psychological pain and physical pain share similar pathways in the brain. People suffering from depression and anxiety have more reports of feeling physical pain, including chronic joint pain, limb pain, back pain, and gastrointestinal problems — just symptoms of a larger problem.
"Overall, the findings show that it physically hurts to be economically insecure," the researchers concluded.
A separate study looked at the effect unemployment had on adults over time. The results weren't good. In the four-year study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology in 2015, researchers found that unemployment caused people's personalities to shift. (Personalities were based on a test administered during the beginning and end of the study). Agreeableness declined, but with a distinct split between genders in how quickly and at what times their personalities' began to shift.
Author Christopher J. Boyce said that the results suggested unemployment has “wider psychological implications than previously thought."
The results of these studies have led researchers to argue that being in a state of poverty or financial instability psychologically compromises us. It's known in psychology as the “scarcity mentality" — the perception that separates the haves from the have-nots. When someone is in a constant state of worry about where their next meal is coming from, mental bandwidth becomes compromised, causing people to make unwise decisions.
“Our effects correspond to between 13 and 14 IQ points," Eldar Shafir, a psychologist at Princeton University and author of Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much, told Rutger Bregman in Utopia for Realists. “That's comparable to losing a night's sleep or the effects of alcoholism."
Shafir asks us to imagine the experience in a mental exercise: “If you want to understand the poor, imagine yourself with your mind elsewhere. Self-control feels like a challenge. You are distracted and easily perturbed. And this happens every day."
No one chooses to live a life of poverty. These studies show how easy it is to become stuck.
So, how do we help people escape?
"Poverty is fundamentally about a lack of cash. It's not about stupidity," economist Joseph Hanlon told Bregman. "You can't lift yourself up by your bootstraps if you have no boots."
Many believe a universal basic income might be the solution. The famous mincome experiment in Canada shows how people's lives improve dramatically when they have a little extra income to help them when times are tough.
Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.
- Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
- Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
- "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.
- Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
- There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
- "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.
- The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
- The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
- While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.
PAUL RATJE / Contributor
- This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
- UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
- TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.