Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Wealth of Thought

I've often thought that our current monetary system forces us to into an unwelcomed pragmatism in our daily lives. So often casual conversation devolves into talk about bills, rent payments, automotive costs, and unintended arithmetical chit chat. It's innocent enough, of course, because it's something we're all affected by. It's an absurd 'system' of quantifying an otherwise loose agreement of value. But it's all we're stuck with at the moment and we have little freedom to do anything about it. (Not least of which because we're too busy keeping track of these sets of numbers). Sorry, I'm ranting here.

The journal Science recently published a study where they attempted to determine how much difference in decision making there is between being rich and poor. In other words, does it occupy more thought having more or less money. Unsurprisingly, people with less money spend more time thinking about how to meet their expenses, whereas people with more money don't worry about it so much.,/p>

The experiment was conducted through games. People of different incomes were chosen. They limited the resources of the game and allowed people to borrow certain of those resources. After playing the games they gave the participants some sort of "cognitive test". The poor people who were given fewer game resources did worse than rich people who had more game resources.

Why is an art education student writing about this? Well, in my art ed classes we've spent a good deal of time focusing on the connection between art and games. It's a ripe area to build art lessons around. In this case, regardless of scientific viability of this particular experiment, it is interesting to see how it was conducted and to think about how an art lesson about using resources might be able to prepare students for such real life practicalities.


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