Money as tool, money as drug: The biological psychology of a strong incentive

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Money as tool, money as drug: The biological psychology of a strong incentive

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dc.contributor.author Lea, Stephen E G en_GB
dc.contributor.author Webley, Paul en_GB
dc.contributor.department University of Exeter en_GB
dc.date.accessioned 2008-08-08T10:48:13Z en_GB
dc.date.accessioned 2011-01-25T12:00:43Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-03-20T14:54:28Z
dc.date.issued 2006-04 en_GB
dc.description.abstract Why are people interested in money? Specifically, what could be the biological basis for the extraordinary incentive and reinforcing power of money, which seems to be unique to the human species? We identify two ways in which a commodity which is of no biological significance in itself can become a strong motivator. The first is if it is used as a tool, and by a metaphorical extension this is often applied to money: it is used instrumentally, in order to obtain biologically relevant incentives. Second, substances can be strong motivators because they imitate the action of natural incentives but do not produce the fitness gains for which those incentives are instinctively sought. The classic examples of this process are psychoactive drugs, but we argue that the drug concept can also be extended metaphorically to provide in account of money motivation. From a review of theoretical and empirical literature about money, we conclude that (i) there are a number of phenomena that cannot be accounted for by a pure Tool Theory of money motivation; (ii) supplementing Tool Theory, with a Drug Theory enables the anomalous phenomena to be explained; and (iii) the human instincts that, according to a Drug Theory, money parasitizes include trading (derived from reciprocal altruism) and object play. en_GB
dc.identifier.citation Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 29 (2), 161-209, April 2006 en_GB
dc.identifier.doi 10.1017/S0140525X06009046 en_GB
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10036/34794 en_GB
dc.language.iso en en_GB
dc.publisher Cambridge University Press en_GB
dc.relation.url http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=BBS en_GB
dc.subject economic behaviour en_GB
dc.subject evolutionary psychology en_GB
dc.subject money en_GB
dc.subject motivation en_GB
dc.subject incentive en_GB
dc.subject reciprocal altruism en_GB
dc.subject giving en_GB
dc.subject play en_GB
dc.title Money as tool, money as drug: The biological psychology of a strong incentive en_GB
dc.type Article en_GB
dc.date.available 2008-08-08T10:48:13Z en_GB
dc.date.available 2011-01-25T12:00:43Z en_US
dc.date.available 2013-03-20T14:54:28Z
dc.identifier.issn 0140-525X en_GB
dc.description © Cambridge University Press 2006. Published version reproduced with the permission of the publisher. en_GB
dc.identifier.eissn 1469-1825 en_GB
dc.identifier.journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences en_GB


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