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This Is Your Brain on Poverty: What Science Tells Us About Poverty

Stashed in: Poverty, Brain, Poverty

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Two of the co-authors of the piece, Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir, have, in their book-length examination of their research, proposed a metaphor for the effect - bandwidth. The human brain has a finite amount of bandwidth. If one is forced to spend that worrying about poverty, it will necessarily have less capacity to spend on other tasks. Indeed, as other studies have shown, the poor often fail to take prescribed medications, fail to use preventative health care less and are less productive workers than their more-comfortable counterparts.

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