Empty Pockets Full Stomachs: How Monetary Scarcity and Monetary Primes Lead to Caloric Desire

Barbara Briers, Tilburg University, the Netherlands
Sandra Laporte, HEC Paris, France
Monetary scarcity and money primes may induce people to desire more calories. This Pavlovian association between money and food appears driven by the instrumental, secondary reinforcer value of money rather than by its primary rewarding qualities: The effect only holds for food choices but does not generalize to nonfood items and is not moderated by individual sensitivity for reward (study 1). The effect also is restricted to persons who adopt an instrumental value of money (study 2). In addition, merely priming people with money can lead to caloric desire, but this effect disappears with monetary satiation (study 3). In line with the value heuristic, people lacking money or those primed with money perceive food items as less caloric because they value calories more. Accordingly, they prefer bigger portions.
[ to cite ]:
Barbara Briers and Sandra Laporte (2010) ,"Empty Pockets Full Stomachs: How Monetary Scarcity and Monetary Primes Lead to Caloric Desire", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 570-571 .