Your Brain on Poverty: Why Poor People Seem to Make Bad Decisions by Derek Thompson

Your Brain on Poverty: Why Poor People Seem to Make Bad Decisions

And why their "bad" decisions might be more rational than you'd think.
Shoppers at a food pantry. (Reuters)

In August, Science published a landmark study concluding that poverty, itself, hurts our ability to make decisions about school, finances, and life, imposinga mental burden similar to losing 13 IQ points. 

It was widely seen as a counter-argument to claims that poor people are "to blame" for bad decisions and a rebuke to policies that withhold money from the poorest families unless they behave in a certain way. After all, if being poor leads to bad decision-making (as opposed to the other way around), then giving cash should alleviate the cognitive burdens of poverty, all on its own.

Sometimes, science doesn't stick without a proper anecdote, and "Why I Make Terrible Decisions," a comment published on Gawker's Kinja platform by a person in poverty, is a devastating illustration of the Science study. I've bolded what I found the most moving, insightful portions, but it's a moving and insightful testimony all the way through.

Click here to continue reading.

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