UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

BBC Big Money Test, 2011

Title details

SN: 8132
Title: BBC Big Money Test, 2011
Alternative title: BBC Lab UK
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-8132-1
Depositor: Fenton-O'Creevy, M., Open University. Business School
Principal investigator(s): Fenton-O'Creevy, M., Open University. Business School
Furnham, A., University College London. Department of Psychology
Data collector(s): British Broadcasting Corporation
Sponsor(s): British Broadcasting Corporation
Friends Provident Foundation
Other acknowledgements: The researchers are grateful to the BBC for providing access, a platform, and significant support to carry out the study; and to the Friends Provident Foundation for financial support for the analysis of the data.


The citation for this study is:

Fenton-O'Creevy, M., Furnham, A. (2017). BBC Big Money Test, 2011. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 8132,

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Subject Categories

Consumer behaviour - Economics
Income, property and investment - Economics
Social attitudes and behaviour - Society and culture


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

In the spring of 2011, the BBC Lab UK used the flagship consumer affairs programme Watchdog to launch an online survey, across the nation, of emotional and psychological relationships with money: the Big Money Test. Public response to the survey was good and over the following months more than 109,000 people completed the survey. The survey was designed by Mark Fenton-O'Creevy (Open University) and Adrian Furnham (University College London) to develop ways of characterising people's psychological and emotional relationships with money and examine how they affect financial health.

A good deal of public money and resources are devoted to providing people with the knowledge they need to manage their financial affairs. Regulatory regimes require providers of financial services to provide their customers with specific forms of financial knowledge. However, for the most part, these kinds of knowledge-based strategies have had limited success in improving how capable people are at managing their money. This study was founded in a concern that knowledge-focused approaches to financial behaviour miss a very important part of the picture, the emotional and attitudinal elements of our relationship to money. The researchers wanted to question whether it is lack of financial knowledge that most often makes the difference in successfully navigating financial difficulties or our habits, attitudes, beliefs and emotions about money. They wanted to look at whether there are useful ways in which we can characterise a person's 'financial personality' and whether how people manage their emotions matters to their financial behaviour. Participants were told that by participating they would help scientists understand how and why different people think and feel about money in different ways. As an incentive for participation they were offered (automated) video and web feedback on key self-reported financial capability measures, and their score on a financial knowledge test on completion of the online questionnaire, followed by a video of a television presenter (Martin Lewis, who also advised on elements of the survey) offering them tips on personal financial management.

Further information can be found on the BBC Lab UK Big Money Test webpage and the BBC Science Big Money Test results webpage.

Some participants also took part in other studies hosted by the BBC's Lab UK (with the same unique ID) so in principle matching is possible across data sets. This study also includes a combined dataset containing matched respondents who also completed the BBC Big Personality Test (held at the UK Data Archive under SN 7656).

Main Topics:
The main topics covered by the survey include: financial capability, money pathology, money attitudes, financial outcomes, emotion regulation, vigilance and avoidance, financial knowledge, behavioural approach system, behavioural avoidance system, and impulsive buying.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Dates of fieldwork: April 2011 - October 2011
Country: United Kingdom
Spatial units: Countries
Unitary Authorities (England)
Postcode (District)
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Numeric data
Individual (micro) level
Universe: National
Members of the public in the UK, 2011.
Time dimensions: Cross-sectional (one-time) study
Sampling procedures: Convenience sample
Number of units: 109,472 Big Money Test respondents;
3,869 Big Money Test and Big Personality Test respondents
Method of data collection: Online (web-based) survey
Weighting: No weighting used

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 19 April 2017
Copyright: Copyright British Broadcasting Corporation and Open University
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions for further information.
Available to all users based in HE/FE institutions, for not-for-profit educational and research purposes only.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
Codebook for Data File: bbc_big_money_test_deposited_version 8132_codebook_for_bpt.pdf 884
Codebook for Data File: big_personality_test_common_participants_with_big_money_test 8132_codebook_for_combined_bmt_and_bpt.pdf 1130
Notes on the Big Money Test Dataset 8132_notes_on_bmt_dataset.pdf 570
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_8132_Information.htm 6
READ File read8132.htm 10
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By principal investigator(s):
Furnham, A., von Stumm, S., and Fenton-O'Creevy, M. (2014) 'Sex Differences in Money Pathology in the General Population', Social Indicators Research, pp.1-11.

von Stumm, S., Fenton-O'Creevy, M., and Furnham, A. (2013) 'Financial capability, money attitudes and socioeconomic status: Risks for experiencing adverse financial events', Personality and Individual Differences, 54(3), pp.344-349.

Furnham, A., von Stumm, S., and Fenton-O'Creevy, M. (2013) The Big Money Test - results. Retrieved 6 April 2017 from

Furnham, A., von Stumm, S., Fenton-O'Creevy, M., and Davies, G. (2013) Emotional relationships with money and financial behaviour: Analysing the Big Money Test, Friends Provident Foundation. Retrieved 6 April 2017 from

Fenton-O'Creevy, M, Furnham, A, Dibb, S, and Davies, G. (2012) 'Antecedents and consequences of impulsive buying: Can impulsive buying be understood as dysfunctional emotion regulation?' in Emotions and Working Life Conference, Helsinki, July, 2012.

Resulting from secondary analysis:


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