Publication: The Economic Times Mumbai; Date: Nov 26, 2010; Section: Personal Finance; Page: 12
RECENTLY we witnessed a Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) episode where the participant who had won 1 crore went for the 5-crore question. He had a lifeline and had already become a crorepati, yet decided to go for the kill. Sadly, he got the answer wrong and went home with just 3.2 lakh. It is disappointing to see a person who made 1 crore losing it the next moment because of the decision that he took. Not just this gentleman, there are many others on the show who fell prey to the phenomenon of ‘mental accounting’.
Mental accounting is nothing but the way we decide to treat money differently because of its source. Just because the money was earned in 15 minutes, the participant decided to treat it differently. I am certain they would not bet a tenth of that amount on the same question if the money had come from their paycheque or profession. Not just KBC, mental accounting is at work everyday in almost every financial decision we make. It makes us mentally segregate money into different accounts — such as savings, EMIs, eating-out money, vacation money, gift money or even gambling money.