Scientists gave IQ tests to shoppers in New Jersey and cash-strapped farmers in India. They found that people worrying about having enough money to pay their bills tend to lose the equivalent of 13 IQ points.
The scientists say financial stress monopolizes thinking, making other calculations slower and more difficult, sort of like the effects of going without sleep for a night. They say this money-and-brain crunch applies to about 100 million Americans who face financial squeezes.
The study was published in Friday's issue of the journal Science.
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