Subjective relative income and lottery ticket purchases
Article first published online: 2 JAN 2008
Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Behavioral Decision Making
Volume 21, Issue 3, pages 283–295, July 2008
How to Cite
Haisley, E., Mostafa, R. and Loewenstein, G. (2008), Subjective relative income and lottery ticket purchases. J. Behav. Decis. Making, 21: 283–295. doi: 10.1002/bdm.588
- Issue published online: 19 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 2 JAN 2008
- decision making;
- social comparison;
- risk taking;
Despite a return of only $.53 on the dollar, state lotteries are extremely popular, especially among the poor, who play the most but can least afford to play. In two experiments conducted with low-income participants, we examine how implicit comparisons with other income classes increase low-income individuals' desire to play the lottery. In Experiment 1, participants were more likely to purchase lottery tickets when they were primed to perceive that their own income was low relative to an implicit standard. In Experiment 2, participants purchased more tickets when they considered situations in which rich people or poor people receive advantages, implicitly highlighting the fact that everyone has an equal chance of winning the lottery. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.