Cultivating Financial Mindfulness: A Dual-Process Theory

Part of the International Series on Consumer Science book series (ISCS)


This chapter considers the cultivation of financial mindfulness in relation to a dual-process mental model, i.e., reflexive and reflective, of influences on financial attitudes and behaviors. In the proposed dual-process model, the reflexive system is energizing, passionate, impulsive, and automatic; in excess, it produces selfish, materialistic financial behaviors. The reflective system is thoughtful and deliberate; in excess, it produces financial inaction and indecision. A functional money relation obtains with moderate levels of, and balanced (λ), reflexive and reflective influences. Although sparse, evidence suggests that cultivating mindfulness strengthens a witnessing self that aids in balancing and integrating the reflexive and reflective systems. Eastern and Western paths to cultivating financial mindfulness have similarities and differences. Eastern, i.e., Buddhist, paths emphasize meditation; Western paths, largely based on psychotherapy, emphasize counseling and therapy that are sometimes combined with mindfulness exercises. Although largely unexplored, the relation of financial knowledge to mindfulness is a potentially fertile and important topic for future exploration.





Thanks to the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), the Gatton College of Business, and the Von Allmen School of Accountancy for financial support related to the work described herein. Thanks also to an anonymous reviewer, Tim Kasser (Knox College), Tim Miller (University of Kentucky), Jason Bergner (University of Kentucky), Candace Witherspoon (University of Kentucky), and Doug Lamdin (Editor) for thoughtful comments on previous drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Von Allmen School of Accountancy , Gatton College of Business and EconomicsUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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