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In Pain? Count Cash

They make you feel better. Steve Rhodes/Planet Money Flickr pool hide caption

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Steve Rhodes/Planet Money Flickr pool

Counting cash can make you feel better, at least according to this new study. In one experiment, the researchers had students count either money or paper, then plunged their fingers into hot water.

The students who had counted money felt less pain.

"Handling money . . . reduced distress over social exclusion and
diminished the physical pain of immersion in hot water."

Apparently it doesn't even have to be your money.

There was a downside though.

"Being reminded of having spent money, however, intensified both social distress and physical pain."

And I should add that the study was done with Chinese currency. But try it out with greenbacks and let us know how it works for you.