When the poor excel: Poverty facilitates procedural learning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent research has shown that poverty directly impeded cognitive functions because the poor could be easily distracted by monetary concerns. We argue that this effect may be limited to functions relying on working memory. For functions that rely on proceduralized processes however, monetary concerns elicited by reminding of financial demands would be conducive rather than harmful. Our results supported this hypothesis by showing that participants with lower income reached the learning criterion of the information-integration categorization task faster than their more affluent counterparts after reminding of financial demands.


  • Junhua Dang
  • Shanshan Xiao
  • Ting Zhang
  • Ying Liu
  • Bin Jiang
  • Lihua Mao
External organisations
  • Stockholm University
  • Peking University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)


  • cognitive functions, information-integration, Poverty, procedural learning
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-291
Number of pages4
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 1
Publication categoryResearch