Making Up Numbers About Money: An Up-Goer Five Study

Some of you have likely seen the amazing comic where former NASA employee Randall Munroe explains the Saturn V rocket using only the one thousand most common English words: Up-Goer Five.* This turned out to be so much fun, Since then, the game of explaining research using basic words has taken off, aided by the Up-Goer Five Text Editor. In that spirit, here’s an attempt at a dissertation title and abstract based on my own work.

Making Up Numbers About Money

I study how people think about money. I am really interested in why we think about money the way we do now, and how the way we think now is so different from how we used to think about money. Before, we didn’t have so many numbers to use for thinking about money, but now we have all sorts of numbers. We pay a lot of attention to some of these numbers, but only a little attention to others. I want to know why we focus on these numbers and not others, and what changed because we focus on these numbers.

*Notably, Dr. Seuss did something similar to write “The Cat in the Hat,” but with just 225 common words.

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