Those whose savings goals coincide with personal qualities save more – analysis

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 The one whose savings goals match personal qualities saves more – analysis

When people's savings goals align with their core personality traits, they save more money, according to a new study published in the American Psychologist. more money, savings are a problem – partly because they require people to overcome the psychological barrier of making sacrifices in the present for their own benefit in the future.

To better understand people's financial behavior and what motivates them to save, researchers at Columbia University in New York and the University of Colorado at Boulder analyzed different savings goals associated with different personality traits that influenced people's behavior.
< br /> First, the team analyzed data from 2,447 UK participants who answered questions about their Big Five personality traits. – agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness, and extraversion, and about the purpose of their savings. Savings goals were coded into categories corresponding to personality traits. Goals included savings on:

  • big purchase,
  • vacation,
  • “rainy day”
  • retirement.

that, on average, people whose stated savings goals were well in line with their personality traits had large reserves. Matching personal goals explained about 5% of the variance in savings for all income levels.

Then, to understand how a particular intervention affects people's behavior, the researchers examined how savings-related personalized emails affected more than 6,000 participants who initially had less than $100 in savings.

Each participant passed a personality assessment of 30 items, and then the researchers divided them into five groups:

  • One – received letters urging them to save up for a goal that fit well with their most prominent personality trait.
  • Another – received emails for an inappropriate purpose,
  • Third – received reports of random targets,
  • The fourth – received emails with a general call to save, but without a specific goal, and
  • Fifth – did not receive any emails.

As a result, it was found that participants who received the personality match condition had the highest success rate, with 11.4% reaching the goal compared to 7.42% in the standard message group, 7.46% in the random message group, and 7.85% in the personality mismatch setting. Only 3.4% of those in the no-email control group achieved their savings goal.

“It was great to see this approach working,” – said study author Robert Farrokhnia. “From the very beginning, it was important for us to apply the results to the real world and come up with something that companies could use and implement. We wanted to understand how people can be motivated to save more”.

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