Researchers Develop Novel Method for Helping People Increase Personal Savings

New study shows people are not as financially responsible as they would like to believe

February 8, 2021 9:32 AM EST

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TORONTO, Feb. 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Researchers from York University’s Schulich School of Business, the University of Notre Dame, and University of New England have published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that examines why people under-save and provides a simple, short, and inexpensive intervention that helps them increase their personal savings.

The study, titled “Popping the Positive Illusion of Financial Responsibility Can Increase Personal Savings: Applications in Emerging and Western Markets”, argues that many people hold unrealistically positive beliefs about how well they save and manage money – beliefs that actually prevent them from saving more money. One solution, developed by the team of researchers, is an “intervention” that shatters, or “pops”, the positive illusion that these people cling to.

The researchers created something they termed a “superfluous-spender intervention” that influenced people to believe they were not saving as well as they believed. Across a series of six experiments, they showed that people receiving the superfluous-spender intervention increased both their intentions to save and increased their actual savings relative to those who do not receive the intervention. According to the researchers, “the intervention increases saving by inducing one’s desire to restore diminished perceptions of financial responsibility.”

The research paper is authored by Nicole Mead, Associate Professor of Marketing at Schulich; Emily Garbinsky, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business; and Daniel Gregg, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of New England in Australia.

“This research has the potential to improve people’s lives in these challenging times,” says Schulich’s Nicole Mead. “My co-authors and I have developed a simple, inexpensive, and easy-to-implement intervention that can help people to save more money.”

Professor Nicole Mead is available for interviews about the findings.

About SchulichGlobal, innovative and diverse, Schulich offers undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate business degrees that lead to rewarding careers in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, and has more than 32,000 alumni working in over 90 countries. The School pioneered Canada’s first International MBA and International BBA degrees, as well as North America’s first ever cross-border Executive MBA degree, the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA. The School has one of the largest portfolios of one-year, specialized Masters programs of any business school in North America. Known as Canada’s Global Business School™, the Schulich School of Business in Toronto is ranked #1 in Canada and among the world’s leading business schools by a number of global MBA surveys.

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Lynn Hayward at [email protected] 

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Source: Schulich School of Business at York University

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