Groundbreaking Global Study First to Reveal That Whether a Person Focuses on the Past, Present or Future Is a Leading Predictor of Their Financial Health

A six-nation study was undertaken by Philip Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University, in partnership with MagnifyMoney.com

  • Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail a friend

New York, NY (PRWEB) July 18, 2014

A groundbreaking new study reveals why some people make poor financial decisions while others make sound ones. Among its compelling findings: a person’s time personality – meaning whether they are stuck in the past, living hedonistically in the present or focused solely on the future – is a better predictor of financial health than their mathematical ability or financial acumen.

This first in-depth psychological study of its kind was undertaken by Philip Zimbardo, professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford University, author of more than 50 books including The Time Paradox and creator of the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI). The six-nation, 3,000-adult study was carried out in partnership with MagnifyMoney (http://www.MagnifyMoney.com), which offers consumers a simple, unbiased way to comparison-shop for financial products.

Concurrent with the study’s release, MagnifyMoney launched a new quiz that helps consumers determine their time personality and offers tools for making more savvy financial decisions.

The study looks at three major time personality categories: past-oriented, present-oriented and future-oriented.

Past-oriented:

  •     “Once bitten twice shy“-- For example, someone who has lost money in the stock market in the past, may be more conservative – thus limiting their downside -- but often misses out on potential gains.
  •     “Memory Hoarders” -- This group of people have fond memories of the past, but tend to get stuck there – meaning they might stay with their bank or credit card out of loyalty and not get the best deal.

Present-oriented:

  •     “Hedonists” - This group likes to enjoy life impulsively without thinking about tomorrow and is more likely to be financially sick. They tend to buy now and think later, with no thought of future consequences – or their credit card bill.
  •     “Powerless”-- People who feel stuck in the present are also likely to be financially sick – they tend to believe things that happen in life are out of their control, and don’t feel empowered to change their financial situation and get more out of their banks.

Future-oriented:

  •     “Future Trippers” -- This group is singularly focused on planning for the future and are likely to make financial decisions – such as buying a house, saving or investing – because they know it’s the right thing to do. However, this group doesn’t always achieve a higher degree of financial health because they seek out advice that might not always be prudent.

“Time personality, or perspective, drives decision making in many realms – from deciding what to eat to choosing who to marry. With this study, we show clearly that it can have a profound effect on a person’s overall financial health,” says Philip Zimbardo. “The study is informative – even surprising – but what makes it truly useful to consumers are the online tools MagnifyMoney has developed to help people assess their time personality and, ultimately, make better financial choices.”

Other intriguing study findings include:

  •     Millennials are much less likely to rate themselves as financially literate, when compared to baby-boomers. However, more millennials have demonstrated financial health than baby-boomers.
  •     Of the six countries studied, the UK ranked as the most financially healthy. Meanwhile, Brazil and Italy had the highest level of present-hedonism and lower financial literacy.
  •     The study did not find a significant difference between males and females.

NOTE: For more information on the study results, visit http://www.magnifymoney.com.

Traditionally, the focus has been on teaching financial literacy and math skills in order to improve financial health. We believe that financial literacy is important. However, our study results show that understanding one’s time perspective is an important new factor and should be integral to literacy training,” according to Nick Clements, co-founder of MagnifyMoney. “With our time perspective quiz, we are now able to help consumers make better financial decisions that can save them thousands of dollars.”

About Professor Philip Zimbardo
Born March 23, 1933, Professor Zimbardo is a psychologist and professor emeritus at Stanford University. He is best known for his controversial Stanford Prison Experiment in 1971 that highlighted the ease with which ordinary intelligent college students were able to cross the line between good and evil when caught up in the matrix of situational and systemic forces. He has authored introductory psychology books, textbooks for college students, and other notable works, including The Lucifer Effect, The Time Paradox and the The Time Cure. He developed the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI) – integral to this latest study as well as Zimbardo’s past work.

About MagnifyMoney
MagnifyMoney was founded in 2014 by Nick Clements and Brian Karimzad, who have a combined nearly 30 years experience working in banking, including Barclaycard and Citigroup. MagnifyMoney is a powerful free resource because its personalized side-by-side comparisons of banking and credit union products are free, unbiased and easy to navigate. With the proprietary Magnify Transparency Score, banking and credit card products are rated on their simplicity, making it easy for consumers to quickly evaluate which products have the least amount of fine print. MagnifyMoney is headquartered in New York, NY.

For more media information, contact:
Lisa Hendrickson, Commstrat
516-767-8390
lisa(at)commstrat(dot)com


Contact

  • Wynne Kokka
    Commstrat
    +1 (510) 658-8870
    Email