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