My postdoctoral research will be replicating experiments by Mani, Mullainathan, Shafir and Zhao (2013). The goal is to examine impacts of scarcity and poverty on cognition and attention, however this time with Canadian population. This research will help validate results found in the 2013 study with U.S. population, while also providing insights about the financial issues BC residents face.
Variety of studies point to a correlation between poverty and impact on cognition, which can further deepen poverty. For example, a preoccupation with financial decisions can leave fewer cognitive resources available for other tasks, requiring memory and attention. This causal relationship has been demonstrated by the scarcity experiments featured in Mani et al. (2013) paper, which showed that dealing with financial scenarios about unexpected costs and bills can have a significant impact on cognitive performance. For participants who were experiencing scarcity, a preoccupation with financial decisions (even when hypothetical), was more taxing and resulted in diminished performance on various cognitive tasks.