Variety of studies point to a correlation between poverty and impact on cognition, which can further deepen poverty. For example, a preoccupation with financial decisions can leave fewer cognitive resources available for other tasks, such as memory and attention. This causal relationship has been demonstrated by the scarcity experiments in the Mani et al. (2013) paper, where dealing with financial scenarios about unexpected costs and bills had different cognitive impacts on the poor and the wealthy. For participants experiencing scarcity, preoccupation with financial decisions even hypothetical, was more taxing and resulted in diminished performance on various cognitive tasks.
My postdoctoral research will be replicating the experiments from the Mani et al. (2013) study but with Canadian population to examine impacts of scarcity and poverty on cognition and attention. If we are successful at replicating the results, this study will add further reliability to the 2013 studies, and provide insights about local demographic and the financial issues BC residents face.