Affective perception of Euro banknotes: cognitive factors and interindividual differences

  • Valerio ManippaEmail author
  • Felice Giuliani
  • Alfredo Brancucci
  • Luca Tommasi
  • Riccardo Palumbo
  • Davide Pietroni
Original Article


Money can be a tool to achieve a wide range of goals in everyday life. Different studies have reported that both the mere exposure to money and its use as a reward can determine cognitive and social effects. Nevertheless, little is known about the basic affective perception of Euro banknotes. Thus, in the present study we aim to assess differences in valence, arousal and familiarity evaluations of banknote pictures (from 5 to 500€) by taking into account gender, socioeconomic status and Love of Money (LoM) score, which measures the subjective attitude toward money, in a sample of participants. We found that valence and arousal increase with the nominal value of the banknotes, and that the relationship between these affective scores and the nominal value appears to be logarithmic (Weber’s law) rather than linear. High value banknotes were evaluated as pleasant, highly arousing, and less familiar. Low value banknotes instead were evaluated as more familiar, less arousing and neutrally valenced. Finally, we found that valence and arousal evaluations are mainly influenced by the LoM score of our participants. Instead, gender and economic condition influenced only arousal scores. These findings suggest the importance of deepening the study of these variables to shed light on money-related biases and abnormal economic behaviors.



We would like to thank Stefano Anzani for his useful suggestions in the final phase of the manuscript preparation.

Author contributions

VM and FG conceived and designed the experiment, collected, analyzed and interpreted the data and wrote the manuscript. AB, LC, RP and DP provided critical revisions and contributed to the final version of the manuscript. All authors approved the final version for submission and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.


This study did not receive any funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological, Health and Territorial SciencesUniversity “G. d’ Annunzio” of Chieti-PescaraChietiItaly
  2. 2.Laboratory of Behavioral Economics, Human Centered Design and HealthcareUniversity “G. d’ Annunzio” of Chieti-PescaraChietiItaly
  3. 3.Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical SciencesUniversity “G. d’ Annunzio” of Chieti-PescaraChietiItaly

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