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OU/BBC launch interactive attitude to money test

BBC personality test finds four key attitudes to money in Great Britain: Status spender, Independence seeker, Generous indulger and Secure saver

The BBC has launched an interactive iWonder test to shed light on people’s relationship with money and coincides with the first episode of Right On The Money: Live broadcasting on BBC One on 13 July 2015. The test is based on a scientific survey of more than 100,000 people, which looked at their attitudes to money and what financial consequences this could have.

The data was gathered as part of the Big Money Test, an online survey published by the BBC in 2011 as part of a collaboration between the BBC and the scientific community, BBC Lab UK. This particular survey was created by The Open University, University College London, and the BBC.

Professor Mark Fenton-O'Creevy, from The Open University Business School (OUBS) and Professor Adrian Furnham from University College London analysed the results and from these they identified four money attitude categories, and calculated the risks of these money attitude types running into financial trouble. Their scientific findings are the basis of the interactive test.

Our research with BBC Lab UK looked at the psychological and emotional relationships over 100,000 people from across the UK have with their money. We found that the kinds of relationships people have with their money are strongly related to the likelihood that they suffered from financial difficulties, ranging from problems like making money stretch to the end of the week or month, to more extreme outcomes such as bankruptcy.

The BBC’s interactive test uses a group of questions about your relationship to money that, together, we found to be good at identifying people likely to have greater levels of financial difficulty. It should also help you think about the kind of relationship you have with your money and whether this is something you would wish to change.

Professor Mark Fenton-O'Creevy
Professor in Organisational Behaviour

The online test places the user in one of four categories, and it also reveals whether they are at higher or lower risk of having money troubles. Appropriate advice and tips are given at the end of completion.

The four attitudes to money

The first eight questions in the interactive test assess which of four attitudes the viewer has towards money.

  • Status Spender: People in this category see money as a way of boosting their image and identity, and may splash out on designer shoes or the latest mobile
  • Independence Seeker: People in this category see money as a way of standing on their own two feet. They may, for instance, be the first in their social group to buy a car or a flat
  • Generous Indulgers: People in this category see money as a way of showing affection and gaining emotional closeness with others. This may be through buying expensive gifts or organising parties for friends and family
  • Secure Savers: People in this category see money as their security and save it for a rainy day

Risk of money troubles

The last two questions in the interactive test look specifically at unhealthy money habits. In the scientific survey people who recognised lots of these behaviours had a higher risk of money troubles.

The interactive iWonder test is available on the BBC website.

The analysis from the Big Money Test was first published in Personality and Individual Differences, 31 October 2012.

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