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Handling Money Brings Pain Relief

samzenpus posted about 4 years ago | from the nothing-wrong-that-$50-wouldn't-fix dept.

Medicine 103

Psychologists at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management have found that handling money can alleviate both physical and emotional pain. In one experiment, test subjects were found to feel less pain when their hands were dipped into scalding water after counting money. Lead author Kathleen Vohs said, "When people are reminded of money in a subtle manner by counting out hard currency, they experience painful situations as being not very painful. You could think about being able to charge yourself up before you encounter pain. When I used to run marathons, I would've maybe wanted to be reminded of money first."

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Cocaine (5, Funny)

Daxx22 (1610473) | about 4 years ago | (#31818398)

Maybe it's all the cocaine the bills have absorbed over time!

Who would agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31818418)

to dip their hand in scalding water?

Maybe not just handling, but recieving huge sums of money will alliviate pain.

Re:Cocaine (3, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 4 years ago | (#31818700)

Glad to see this as first post- it's *EXACTLY* the alternative explanation I thought- especially if the money in question is US currency in any paper format. I've heard cocaine residue can be found on up to 90% of US paper money that has been in circulation for more than a year.

I tried this experiment (3, Interesting)

iamhassi (659463) | about 4 years ago | (#31818952)

"it's *EXACTLY* the alternative explanation I thought"

I couldn't think of an explanation, so I decided to try it on my wife.

Before I had her call the gas company to see where we're at (we're still catching up from a cold winter) I handed her a stack of twenties she didn't know I had (pimpin' ain't easy) and had her count them out.

She was confused but obliged. After she was done I took the money from her hands and asked her to call. She asked what was up with the money. I explained the experiment and she said "OH I thought you were giving me the money, it's not going to help now!"

That brings up a good point and the article is light on details so I have to ask: is it possible any of the participates were lead to believe they would be receiving all or a portion of the money they were counting out? Were they told upfront "You will not receive any of this money as part of this experiment"? And even if they were told, did anyone still think it was a possibility? I'm damn sure if you handed me 80 $100 bills and told me "We're doing an experiment, please count out this money" and said nothing else I would have a smile on my face until I was told to leave the research lab empty-handed.

Re:I tried this experiment (1)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | about 4 years ago | (#31819334)

Did you explain the experiment before she called or after? If you told her before she called, you tainted the result.

Re:I tried this experiment (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 4 years ago | (#31820246)

"Did you explain the experiment before she called or after? "

Before, but the comments she made speak for themselves: if there was any possibility the participants believed they might be able to keep the money then you can not conclude "Handling Money Brings Pain Relief" because, obviously, the idea of receiving $8,000 would offer much relief from many, many pains.

Re:I tried this experiment (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | about 4 years ago | (#31821438)

I'm pretty sure the subtext of the study was "we're greedy fucks".* Even gazing longingly at a framed portrait of Ben Franklin would probably work on some people.

*(I know the period belongs inside the quotes, but the programmer in me rebels strenuously. Suck it Mr. Harlan.)

Re:I tried this experiment (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | about 4 years ago | (#31827250)

*(I know the period belongs inside the quotes, but the programmer in me rebels strenuously. Suck it Mr. Harlan.)

I do the same thing. The period is not a part of the stuff that I wanted to put in the quote marks, so why should it go in there? When my sentence ends with just a plain word, I don't put a period just before the last letter. The programmer way actually makes more sense to me.

Re:I tried this experiment (3, Funny)

stonewallred (1465497) | about 4 years ago | (#31820380)

I am in a great deal of pain due to a screwed up disc. If all the /. readers will send me $20.00 US, cash only, small bills are fine, I will undertake verifying this experiment myself, and will report my findings.

Re:I tried this experiment (1)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | about 4 years ago | (#31823308)

I'd help, but I'll have some trouble finding a note denomination so low that all of slashdotters'money together adds up 20$.

Anyway don't lose hope and get await for the post with it to arrive... unless the postman keeps it to himself, of course.

Re:I tried this experiment (2, Informative)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about 4 years ago | (#31820654)

If someone said they were doing an experiment and handed me wads of cash, I would have one of two conclusions. Either I'm going to hand that money back at some point, or I'm going to rob the guy and take it. It would not make sense for someone to do an experiment where you end up with piles of cash, although it has happened. But it has been so rare that you would consider it an anomaly.

Of course you could read the article where it was explained as a finger dexterity exercise, so no it is not possible.

Among other experiments, she and colleagues challenged college students to a supposed finger-dexterity task in which they counted out either 80 $100 bills or 80 slips of paper. Afterward, the cash-counters reported less pain than the paper-counters when their fingers were dipped briefly into 122-degree Fahrenheit water.

Next time you want me to read something for you, please make an appointment.

Re:I tried this experiment (1)

chgros (690878) | about 4 years ago | (#31820902)

is it possible any of the participates were led to believe they would be receiving all or a portion of the money they were counting out?
The article pointed out they were posing the experiment as a "finger dexterity test". I think it's reasonable to think that the test subjects wouldn't expect to keep the money. Furthermore, they almost certainly took the money back before doing the pain test.

Re:Cocaine (2, Informative)

c++0xFF (1758032) | about 4 years ago | (#31819060)


http://www.snopes.com/business/money/cocaine.asp [snopes.com]

The percentage is probably lower than 90% (33% to 50% in one study, 75% in another, 80% in a fourth, and a staggering 97% in a fifth).

Re:Cocaine (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#31819958)

The actual figure is 92.5% [slushdot.com] - and not just for $100 bills eithr.

Zuo, who spoke about his research at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society on Sunday, found that $5, $10, $20 and $50 bills were more likely to be positive for cocaine than $1 bills.

"Probably $1 is a little too less to purchase cocaine," Zuo said "I don't know exactly [why]. It's an educated guess."

Cocaine binds to the green dye in money, he said.

In 1998, Negrusz published similar findings after comparing freshly printed dollar bills that were not released to the public and money collected from a suburb near Chicago, Illinois. In the study, 92.8 percent of the bills from the public had traces of cocaine, but the uncirculated bills tested negative.

"Imagine a bank teller who's working with cash-counting machine in the basement of the bank," Negrusz said. "Many of those bills, over 90 percent, are contaminated with cocaine. There is cocaine dust around the machines. These bank tellers breathe in cocaine. Cocaine gets into system, and you can test positive for cocaine. ... That's what's behind this whole thing that triggered testing money for drugs."

So, drug dealers feel good about counting coke-laden bills.

Cops feel good pocket^H^H^H^H^H^Hcounting coke-laden bills.

Bank tellers feel good breathing in the drug dust from coke-laden bills.

these are all infinitesimal amounts (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#31820880)

you could easily do a study showing 100% of paper currency is radioactive! OMG!

there's always a stray radioactive isotope somewhere. its the basis for carbon dating. this "drugs are on money!" hysteria is laughable

Re:Cocaine (3, Informative)

Daxx22 (1610473) | about 4 years ago | (#31819542)

Well I posted this as a joke, as I think that while you can find cocaine/drug residue on a large percentage of money in circulation, the actual amount is so low there is no way it could have an actual effect. Kinda like smoking Hemp to get high. You'd die of smoke inhalation before you even got a buzz.

Cocaine is not that powerful of a drug (5, Informative)

spun (1352) | about 4 years ago | (#31820142)

It is not readily absorbed through the skin, which is why it was only used as a topical anesthetic of the mucus membranes such as the mouth, eyes, and ears. It is also not powerful enough that the trace amounts in money could have any effect.

Re:Cocaine is not that powerful of a drug (1)

spun (1352) | about 4 years ago | (#31820672)

Did I say ears? Damn it. I meant nose. Well, that's what too much, ah, never mind. Forget I said that.

Re:Cocaine is not that powerful of a drug (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 4 years ago | (#31823208)

Did I say ears? Damn it. I meant nose. Well, that's what too much, ah, never mind. Forget I said that.

There's a story (possibly an urban legend, as she denies it) about Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks having the stuff blown up her arse to avoid damaging her noise/voice.

Re:Cocaine is not that powerful of a drug (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 4 years ago | (#31820802)

Funny, when I was given it in the hospital for a cut over my eye, it worked wonderfully well. In fact, it was the only anestheic I needed for getting sewn up.

Re:Cocaine is not that powerful of a drug (1)

spun (1352) | about 4 years ago | (#31820926)

Yes, if you have an open cut it could be absorbed that way, too.

Re:Cocaine is not that powerful of a drug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31823740)


Re:Cocaine (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#31821516)


I'd bet that 100% of paper money that has been in circulation for more than ten days has detectable levels of fecal coliform bacteria on it.

Re:Cocaine (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | about 4 years ago | (#31818858)

You beat me to that, but it is interesting when the US FBI offices do a random check on bills for counterfitting, they also do tox screen checks, and usually come up with a number in the high 90s percentage wise of which bills have had that substance somehow contaminating them

Re:Cocaine (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | about 4 years ago | (#31819508)

Maybe it's all the cocaine the bills have absorbed over time!

Don't forget about the amount of fecal matter on there. Now there's some nose candy for you.

I think it's obvious (5, Insightful)

Target Practice (79470) | about 4 years ago | (#31818426)

Psychologists at the University of Minnesota's Carleton *School of Management*

Does anyone else see the correlation? Their sample group was entirely MBA-types.

Re:I think it's obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31818590)

Psychologists at the University of Minnesota's Carleton *School of Management*

Does anyone else see the correlation? Their sample group was entirely MBA-types.

Money would sure cure my pain from getting my MBA!

**grumbling** godamn student loans for a worthless degree **shaking head** wish I never got the fucking thing ***hitting head with hammer** STUPID STUPID STUPID

Re:I think it's obvious (1)

Targon (17348) | about 4 years ago | (#31819046)

That was my exact thought when I read this. There will always be people who are obsessed with money....now, give me a Radeon 5970 setup with the Samsung MD230 as a monitor, and I wouldn't notice much pain.

Re:I think it's obvious (1)

sznupi (719324) | about 4 years ago | (#31819220)

Now, only to find cheap substitutes which can be semi-regularly administered and our economies might start to improve...

Pssht Rappers have know about this for years (3, Funny)

djdavetrouble (442175) | about 4 years ago | (#31819418)

Observe the following Young Jeezy Lyrics:

I used to get bored, count 20's for practice
Paper therapy, we let the money relax us

Re:Pssht Rappers have know about this for years (1)

argyleman (1320431) | about 4 years ago | (#31819956)

"Practice/Relax us" - I do believe I've finally encountered a rhyme in the same ballpark as Steve Miller's "Texas/Taxes/Facts is" rhyme. No need to fear, SMB fans! The true horribleness of the latter remains unbested.

Re:I think it's obvious (1, Informative)

phlegmofdiscontent (459470) | about 4 years ago | (#31820374)

Actually, I highly doubt the study group was made up of MBA students. MBA students are busy studying and going to class and probably already have money (I should know, I'm one of them). The study group was probably broke-ass art students who have nothing better to do with their time and desperately need the $20 that are usually offered to take place in studies.

Re:I think it's obvious (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 4 years ago | (#31820698)

Psychologists at the University of Minnesota's Carleton *School of Management*

Does anyone else see the correlation? Their sample group was entirely MBA-types.

No kidding ... they chose one of the most mercenary groups available. I like money but I haven't devoted my life to acquire it. In my case, maybe having me count solid-state hard disks, or maybe quad-core motherboards would work. I think all this "study" proves is that when you're distracted you don't hurt as much. BFD.

When people are reminded of money in a subtle manner by counting out hard currency

That's subtle? As Inigo Montoya once said, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Re:I think it's obvious (3, Insightful)

chgros (690878) | about 4 years ago | (#31820852)

I'm glad you're so much smarter than those researchers would couldn't possibly know about sampling bias.

Especially for Jews (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31818452)

Jews, also known as kikes, hebes, hymies, yids, gold niggers, oven magnets, hook noses, sheenies, swindlers, criminals, "firewood", and Arabs in denial are a subhuman species of reptilian extra-terrestrials and adherents to one of the world's oldest major religions, called "Judaism", otherwise known as "The Worship of Money" or "Eating Arab Babies". Judaism was the world's first master race theory. The Jew religion teaches that Jews are the Chosen People of God and that there is a sacred mystical quality to Jew DNA. In olden times, Jew prophets would, under the command of YHWH, frequently lead the Jews on genocidal rampages against neighboring populations, and even today Jew leaders often cite Jewish religious ideals to justify their ongoing genocide of sandniggers. Judaism ironically found its mirror-image inversion in the anti-Jew Aryan racialism of the Nazis. Despite only being 0.22% of the world's population, Jews control 99% of the world's money. Not only do the Jews control the world, but also the media, the banks, the space program, and LiveJournal's porn communities and Gay communities. All Jews possess the following features: an extremely large nose, fake boobs, curly hair that reeks of faggotry, one of those gay hats, a love of coke, a law practice, a roll of money, a small cock, or shitty taste in dental hygiene. Jews invented both Communism and Capitalism. Karl Marx, of course, was a Jew, which was why he understood money so well, and in fact he was converted to Communism by another Jew, Moses Hess, the actual founder of Zionism, who ghost-wrote Marx's The German Ideology. Capitalism was created when Christian Europeans threw away their morals and decided to embrace Jewish practices like usury (see: John Calvin). Jews were the first group to create a sophisticated banking system, which they used to fund the Crusades in order to pit Christians and Muslims (both adhering to religions derived from and controlled by Jews) against each other to kill as many people as possible in a macabre human sacrifice to YHWH. The Jew banking system was based on fraud and lies, so when it inevitably collapsed, the Jews just pwned as many people as possible by unleashing the Black Plague on them. Later, Jews economically controlled medieval Venice (the first modern maritime trade empire), and then crypto-Jewish merchants economically controlled the Spanish Empire, including the slave trade. Openly Jewish bankers orchestrated the Dutch Empire and founded Jew Amsterdam (later Jew York). Later the Dutch Jews moved to London because they thought it would be a better base for a global empire, and actually brought a Dutch nobleman, William III, with them, who they installed in a coup d'état (more like Jew d'état, amirite?) as new King of the British Empire. For hundreds of years, Jewish bankers controlled global trade through their bases in Jew York City and London. European colonialism was, through its history, essentially a plot whereby Jews could gain control of gold and diamond mines in poor countries and increase their stranglehold over the global economy. Jews also enjoy slicing up baby penises for fun, some even enjoy sucking them. See below. Jews also created Jew search engine Google, so now they can find all Jew information on Internets. Some suggest that we should use Jews instead of dogs to sniff out large amounts of concealed cash or anything else worth smuggling at airports due to their sensitive Jew noses. Obviously, this is a horrible idea, because the pay is bad, and the dirty Kikes would probably form a union and demand moar money, thus increasing the burden on taxpayers everywhere.

WTF? (3, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | about 4 years ago | (#31818458)

test subjects were found to feel less pain when their hands were dipped into scalding water after counting money

Who was running this experiment, Dr. Mengele?

Re:WTF? (2, Funny)

Jeng (926980) | about 4 years ago | (#31818516)

Don't feel too bad for the test subjects, they were just future PHB's going after their MBA.

Most probably the person who devised the test was in IT.

Re:WTF? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 4 years ago | (#31819554)

Seriously! I thought these kinds of experiments had been outlawed. At the very least, no reputable institution would touch it with a 10 foot pole.

Re:WTF? (1)

neumayr (819083) | about 4 years ago | (#31822028)

How would you go about studying pain?
Tons of reasons for doing that, especially finding ways to relieve pain. And no better (practical) way than to actually cause pain.

People endure pain all the time, hoping for some kind of reward that outweighs the pain endured. For some, helping science and a twenty dollar bill is enough reward to endure a little cold water. Which really isn't that bad, after all, people go for a swim in frozen lakes just for fun.

Re:WTF? (1)

neumayr (819083) | about 4 years ago | (#31822092)

Okay, so scalding doesn't mean what I thought it meant. Doesn't matter, people voluntarily expose themselves to heat as well.

Pay me in cash (1)

aauu (46157) | about 4 years ago | (#31818486)

Let me fondle my pay in cash each morning and pay me daily. I can sprinkle (lightly) the cash on my bed and sleep naked for maximum effect. Would the shredded money from from the federal reserve have the same effect?

Product Idea! (2, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | about 4 years ago | (#31818910)

> Would the shredded money from from the federal reserve have the same effect?

Buy it, stuff matresses with it, and sell them via Sharper Image.

Re:Pay me in cash (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | about 4 years ago | (#31822248)

Just think how many grubby mitts have been on that cash, how many fat boys have sweated on it as it sat folded in their back pocket. And you want to lay in it naked? Ewww...

So what you're saying is... (1)

jnaujok (804613) | about 4 years ago | (#31818532)

Apparently money really can buy happiness?

Re:So what you're saying is... (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 4 years ago | (#31818658)

That would only be true if the alleviation of pain is happiness... (i.e. you're a masochist that denies himself pain for pleasure...)

Re:So what you're saying is... (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 4 years ago | (#31821152)

Apparently money really can buy happiness?

No, what they're saying (perhaps without realising it), is that giving someone money will distract them enough that they don't feel pain so much. A good scratch will do the same thing, causing pain in one place and thereby distracting you from pain elsewhere.

I just don't know why this kind of pseudo-science is encouraged at unis.

Another way to spin it... (1)

Valdrax (32670) | about 4 years ago | (#31825506)

Apparently money really can buy happiness?

Another way to spin it would be to say that preoccupation with money can lead one to overlook painful consequences.

but is it enough (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | about 4 years ago | (#31818578)

but is it enough relief to overcome having to then hand said cash over in exchange for [overpriced product]

Cures AIDs (1)

Get on the boat (1601391) | about 4 years ago | (#31818610)

Don't see why it wouldn't have other medicinal uses. An injection for simple pain would probably run significantly less than $180,000 too.

Mere distraction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31818612)

Or moderate exercise and being given a task distracts from pain?

Walk it off!

mw0d down (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31818724)

in a head spriining

Social Conditioning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31818772)

I'd like to see this applied to an indigenous tribe somewhere, where they have no concept of leafy greenbacks and portraits of authoritarian figures.

Perceived pleasures vs. applied pain and the corresponding sensory receptors is nothing new. Reference some of the more physically detailed acts of sex as an ongoing clinical trial.

Re:Social Conditioning (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31818966)

They did try that, but they ran out of researchers. They never got past the control experiment. It seems that indigenous peoples know enough to kill folks who try to scald their hands.

Spaceballs explains it: (3, Funny)

Mr Z (6791) | about 4 years ago | (#31818818)

Barf: I know we need the money, but...

Lone Starr: Listen! We're not just doing this for money!

Barf: [Barf looks at him, raises his ears]

Lone Starr: We're doing it for a S**T LOAD of money!

Running == Pain (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 4 years ago | (#31818862)

> When I used to run marathons, I would've maybe wanted to be reminded of
> money first.

But that would've reduced the pain! What runner would want that? Isn't pain what it's all about?

I wonder if doing math was the real pain reliever? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31818868)

I didn't RTFA but did they have them count anything else to eliminate the counting as a pain reliever?
I regularly count to 10 after reading slashdot...

Like smiling? (2, Insightful)

RobertM1968 (951074) | about 4 years ago | (#31818930)

Perhaps it's similar to how making someone smile affects the person who smiles?

Of course, that would be kinda sad if money has gotten so all-important to people's emotional and mental well-being.

That's part sarcasm and part observation about how our very materialistic society has changed our core values to create such a situation where one has to recognize the "importance" of money at least in order to survive in this society...

South Park Did It! (2, Interesting)

JoshDM (741866) | about 4 years ago | (#31818946)

It's like the "Simpsons Did It!", except with South Park [southparkstudios.com].

tl;dr - According to South Park, the cure for AIDS is money.

Re:South Park Did It! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31818958)

What's the cure for aides?

Re:South Park Did It! (1)

Tynin (634655) | about 4 years ago | (#31822436)

I was trying to remember that it was South Park, but my mind kept distracting me with...

Good evening, and welcome to The Money Programme. Tonight on The Money Programme, we're going to look at money. Lots of it. On film, and in the studio. Some of it in nice piles, others in lovely clanky bits of loose change. Some of it neatly counted into fat little hundreds, delicate fivers stuffed into bulging wallets, nice crisp clean checks, pert pieces of copper coinage thrust deep into trouser pockets, romantic foreign money rolling against the thigh with rough familiarity, beautiful wayward curlicued banknotes, filigreed copper plating cheek by jowl with tumbly rubbing gently against the terse leather of beautifully balanced bank books!!

Profit!!! (1)

pesho (843750) | about 4 years ago | (#31818954)

We already know that expensive placebo can bring pain relief [nytimes.com]. Now we can completely eliminate the pill, save all the expenses related to drug development testing and production. All we need to do is charge people more for nothing and they will feel better. Isn't this a perfect business plan.

well i think its true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31819084)

When i learned that my dad was sick from throat cancer .. I was so down that i actually bought a nice 42 inch acl TV. Im such a impulsive buyer haha

Scalding water? (1)

Rudigger (992315) | about 4 years ago | (#31819168)

Who in the hell signs up for a study where they receive second-degree burns on their hands?

marPe (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31819390)

formed his own to stick so8ething

Lousy study (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31819584)

They didn't prove anything, just that they can burn hands and that the people selected for the study feel better when handling currency. To prove that handling money in of itself brings pain relief, they need a control group that has no concept of what the money symbolizes. I mean, we can say it's the money - but isn't it -really- the concept of what the money means to the person that brings about pain relief? What kind of pain relief are we talking about here - are we talking endorphines to alter the perception of the pain like in childbirth or are we talking pain relief coming from accelerated healing?

Since the questions aren't really answered, it's an interesting 'stupid MBA student' trick with a brief flirtation of science. A+ for headline, F for scientific method.

This is old news (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | about 4 years ago | (#31819658)

Did anyone see the pilot episode of Ducktales?
Scrooge McDuck is diagnosed with cancer. That's why he spends the rest of the series swimming in his money.

It's really kind of a sad show when you know the whole story.

Richie Rich had it right! (1)

Padrino121 (320846) | about 4 years ago | (#31819764)

When I was a kid I remember watching Richie Rich, including swimming in and counting money, seems he knew what he was doing :)

bogus (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 4 years ago | (#31821626)

I got my very worst headaches when I worked as a retail clerk and handled hundreds of dollars every day. My fellow retail clerks also suffered frequent headaches.

Kind of a known.. (1)

neumayr (819083) | about 4 years ago | (#31822256)

given how many people go out and buy something when they're down.
Women supposedly do it so often it became a sitcom meme ages ago.

Still, doing a study on it might have some merit. Now those scientists at least have some idea what's up when their women go on a shopping spree :)

Not for hippies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31822556)

Ok I don't think of myself as a hippie, but I do hate the establishment. Counting my own money sometimes made me feel a little sick. Not in "I should be making more" sick but just money disgusts me because it reminds me how we are trapped in a commercial society where nothing is free and everything has a price, even if the government has to intervene to give it a price.

I'm sure one can repeat this with any object (1)

sw155kn1f3 (600118) | about 4 years ago | (#31827604)

As with any repetetive task person enters the trance. Nothing new here: count bills, sheep, whatever.

I know this is weird, but, anyway (1)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | about 4 years ago | (#31830384)

About a year ago, I found my mother's body. I'll spare you the details, but the experience was traumatic and I've been rather severely depressed since then. I was no singing nightengale before but the last year has been excruciating.

One small thing I've done to make me feel better is that I now carry around a substantial roll of cash. I'm far from well-to-do but, nevertheless, I've started carrying much more cash than ever before. It's more than just for convenience. I think everyone knows that there are plenty of aggravations in life that can be cured by throwing a few $100 bills at the problem. More than that, though, I seem to derive some needed comfort from the sure knowledge that there are few of life's little problems that can cause me much pain in the short term. Car/water heater/front lawn gas light/air conditioning breaks down? Tree suddenly dies in the front yard? No problem. Each of those things has happened in the last year and I haven't had to stress over it for more than a few minutes until I could put a few bills in the hands of the workman who would solve the problem. Can't park in time to get to an appointment? No problem, just valet it. Feel like treating myself to a nice meal when I'm driving by and see the sign for Ruth's Chris? No problem, just swing on in.

I could go on and on.

Yes, I know that a credit card or check could do most of these tasks. But there's a sense of immediacy with the cash. I don't have to show ID. I don't have to enter something in my check register. Just peel off a couple of pieces of paper and forget about the problem.

Thus, from my personal experience, the notion of having some money in hand as a stress/pain reliever is valid. YMMV.

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