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A study published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization might have concluded that people with visible tattoos are more impulsive and reckless in their decision-making, but they have neglected to highlight the possibility that those with tattoos are extremely committal— at the least, with their tattoo appointments and body-art planning— future-oriented.


More than 1,000 Americans took part in an experiment in which there was a greater monetary payoff for those who were willing to wait. In this experiment, the participants were given a series of A/B choices. Option A is always the same: a $1 payout in 18 hours. Option B offered increasing sums of money if the participant would be willing to wait three weeks for payout. But, what if tattooed participants prioritize a prize worth more than cash? For these participants, maybe it was time. 

To say tattooed people disregard a payoff for waiting isn't entirely accurate, when they often wait months— even years— for a tattoo appointment they booked with a high-in-demand artist. Sometimes, they even travel across the country, or globe, feeling a piece of permanent art is worth it. 

While money is the simplified evil that keeps the wheel-of-life turning, tattooed people (if they’re getting good work) don’t price shop for their look. They weigh the benefits and costs for how they choose to decorate their body, and while not everyone (ahem, non-tattooed people) will have the same priorities to weigh, that doesn't mean our choices are less than. Tattoos in themselves generally stand for a commitment one has for the rest of their life. But congrats non-tattooed people, I hope you spent your $18 well.