A University of Iowa money study explores our preference for big bills over small ones -- and explains our marked reluctance to part with a larger bill.
"The denomination in which money is held influences consumer spending," write researchers Himanshu Mishra, Arul Mishra and Dhananjay Nayakankuppam. They term the propensity to hold a single bill in higher regard "a bias for the whole."
This single value also gives large bills something the authors call "processing fluency": "A single bill possesses Gestalt features of cohesion and economy that multiple bills lack," the authors contend. "It appears that money is not just regarded as a medium of exchange, but as an object of evaluation in its own right."
The study will appear in the March issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: Explainer: How to solve a jewel heist (and why it takes so long)