In her recent paper, “The Psychological Lives of the Poor,” Schofield, a professor in the department of medical ethics and health policy at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine and a operations, information, and decisions professor at Wharton, and her co-authors — economists Frank Schilbach of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard University — reviewed research on bandwidth and how it may affect the psychology behind poverty. Specifically, Schofield says, they posit that poverty may reduce the available cognitive bandwidth to the point where one’s ability to make better choices could be severely reduced.

In other words, Schofield says, people in poverty may not be making bad choices because they are somehow different from those who are more affluent. They just may lack the bandwidth necessary to make good ones.

Read more at: Why Mental Bandwidth Could Explain the Psychology Behind Poverty