Bad deeds damage the value of money

New research shows that people perceive morally tainted money as having less value and purchasing power.

A study titled The Corruption of Value, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, challenges the belief that “all money is green”, and that people will cross ethical boundaries to amass wealth.

“Our work suggests morality is an important force shaping economic decision-making,” says Jennifer Stellar, a doctoral student in psychology at University of California, Berkeley, and lead author of the study.

“People possess powerful motivations to view themselves as fundamentally good and moral,” says Robb Willer, associate professor of sociology at Stanford University and co-author of the paper. “We find this motivation is so great that it can even lead people to disassociate themselves from money that has acquired negative moral associations.”

The findings help explain economic trends behind socially responsible investing and the boycott of sweatshop-produced goods. They also shed light on why companies go to great lengths to avoid appearing immoral or corrupt, states the report.

Read more at University of California