New research finds that simply the thought of money can make people feel less pain:
Cash gives people an inner strength and can reduce their physical and emotional pain. In fact, simply the idea of cash has this effect.
It doesn’t even need to be real money:
[P]people became more self-sufficient because of money. Simply being in the presence of Monopoly money or a screen saver showing pictures of cash made subjects work harder to achieve their goals, even if their tasks were impossible. They were less distracted, more focused, and more productive.
The implications for service design:
If you run an airline and have an eight-hour flight delay, you want to ease customers’ pain. Give them cash, not vouchers. Cash, cash, cash. A voucher doesn’t provide the same effect.