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Home » When Money Isn’t Real: The $10,000 Experiment by Adam Carroll at TEDxLondonBusinessSchool (Transcript)

When Money Isn’t Real: The $10,000 Experiment by Adam Carroll at TEDxLondonBusinessSchool (Transcript)

Adam Carroll at TEDxLondonBusinessSchool

Here is the full transcript of Adam Carroll’s TEDx presentation on When Money Isn’t Real: The $10,000 Experiment at TEDxLondonBusinessSchool conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio: When money isn’t real- the $10,000 experiment by Adam Carroll at TEDxLondonBusinessSchool


I recently completed an unsanctioned, unsupervised psychological experiment on my children. The premise of which was $10,000 in cash on the kitchen table and a sign next to it that said, “Don’t touch the money yet!”

And before I dive into it, you should know that we are a game playing family. We play ball games, board games, dice games, card games; we play all sorts of games. But the games that my children love to play most are games like Monopoly. And when they play Monopoly, they play marathon games of Monopoly that last hours and hours over days of play.

Each of my kids has a unique strategy and personality when they play Monopoly. My daughter who is 11, she is always the dog. She plays entirely for chance and community chest cards. You could say that she uses the luck strategy. My 9-year-old son is always the car, a very strategic player. He buys all of the railroads and all of the utilities and then proceeds to put houses and hotels on the most expensive properties; very savvy. And then his younger brother who is seven, he buys everything that he lands on with no exception, which is fitting because he is the wheelbarrow.

Now before I tell you how my experiment unfolded, first, I have to share an observation that led me to the creation of it. One Monopoly Marathon, Saturday morning I was playing with my kids and noticed that they were all playing just outside of the rules of the game. So they were doing things like buying each other out of jail and lending each other money to buy properties. And I found myself going, “guys, this is not how this game is played”, to which they would say, “Dad, it’s fine. We just want her on the board with us”, or “he can pay me back at the end of the game when he’s flushed with cash”. And I’m thinking, again, “What am I teaching these kids?”

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