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Key reason people pile up heavy credit card debt is false belief they have self-control: NUS-SUSS study

Key reason people pile up heavy credit card debt is false belief they have self-control: NUS-SUSS study
People who rack up heavy levels of credit card debt tend to kid themselves that they have good self-control, when they do not, a study has found.

Many of those who are mired in debt might think that they are actually skilful and making good use of the banking system by borrowing just enough to be able to meet all of their expenses, the study by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) found. 

But in fact, they are more likely to pile up more debt due to their inflated sense of self-control. The study examined the behaviour of "extreme debtors", defined as those with credit card debt at least 12 times their monthly income, across all age groups, genders and educational backgrounds.

The results of the study were published in May this year in the Journal of Personality, which publishes scientific investigations in the field of personality and behaviour dynamics.

HOW THE STUDY WAS CONDUCTED

The research team was led by Associate Associate Professor Jia Lile from the NUS' Department of Psychology and included NUS Business School PhD student Yuen Wei Lun, Dr Ong Qiyan from NUS Social Service Research Centre and Associate Professor Walter Theseira from SUSS.

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