Financial stress may hit your brain and wallet

WASHINGTON — Being short on cash may make you a bit slower in the brain, a new study concludes.

Scientists gave IQ tests to shoppers in New Jersey and to cash-strapped farmers in India. They found that people who are worrying about having enough money to pay their bills tend to lose the equivalent of 13 IQ points.

The scientists said that financial stress monopolizes thinking, making other calculations slower and more difficult — sort of like the effects of going without sleep for a night. They said this money-and-brain crunch applies to about 100 million Americans who face financial squeezes.


The study was published in Friday’s issue of the journal Science.