People Care About How Wrinkled Money Is

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Canadian researchers have found people tend to spend crumpled bills first – unless somebody’s watching…

In five different studies, the researchers gave subjects new or old bills and asked them to shop and spend. In all of the studies, people spent more and took more chances with old, worn money.

All of the studies found the same main reason: people’s aversion to “dirty money.”

“It’s the ‘ick’ factor,” [researcher Theodore] Noseworthy said. “The idea of touching something that others also handled: people want to rid themselves of worn currency, because they are disgusted by the contamination from others.”

He said people value a crisp new bill because they take pride in it, especially when they can spend it around others. People were more likely to spend more of their new-looking currency, even if they had to use four $5 bills rather than one crumpled $20 bill.

So next time you’re on a date, impress him or her by paying the bill with a stack of crisp Washingtons. So much crispness!

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  • I.Popoff

    This story reminds me of the time I bought a $4 hot dog from a vendor. After handing him a five, he handed me a dollar bill that was so severely crumpled, thread-bare and worn out that I told him to keep it. Later I wondered if that was one of his regular ploys to increase profits.