Money in the Bank: Feeling Powerful Increases Saving

Money in the Bank: Feeling Powerful Increases Saving

By
Emily N. Garbinsky, Anne-Kathryn Klesse, Jennifer Aaker
Journal of Consumer Research. October
1, 2014, Vol. 41, Issue 3, Pages 610-623

Across five studies, this research reveals that feeling powerful increases saving. This effect is driven by the desire to maintain one’s current state. When the purpose of saving is no longer to accumulate money, but to spend it on a status-related product, the basic effect is reversed and those who feel powerless save more. Further, if money can no longer aid in maintaining one’s current state, because power is already secure or because power is maintained by accumulating an alternative resource (e.g., knowledge), the effect of feeling powerful on saving disappears. These findings are discussed in light of their implications for research on power and saving.