The circumstances surrounding poverty — tight financial challenges, instability of income and expenses, low savings, no insurance, and several other stressors — translate into persistent and cognitively taxing hardship for people in poverty contexts. Thoughts about money and expenses loom large, shape mental associations, interfere with other experiences, and are difficult to suppress. The persistent juggling of insufficient resources affects attention, cognitive resources, and ensuing decisions. Despite the demanding struggle with challenging circumstances, people in poverty encounter disdain rather than admiration, and obstacles rather than support. Societal appreciation for the power of context, along with behaviorally informed programs designed to facilitate life under poverty, are essential for those in poverty contexts to be able to make the most of their challenging circumstances.
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