Can Money Buy Happiness?
Source: Science Daily
Researchers are investigating new directions in the science of spending. Four presentations during the symposium "Happy Money 2.0: New Insights Into the Relationship Between Money and Well-Being," delve into the effects of experiential purchases, potential negative impacts on abundance, the psychology of lending to friends, and how the wealthy think differently about well-being. The symposium takes place during the SPSP 16th Annual Convention in Long Beach, California.
Anticipation for experiential purchases
Research published in the journal Psychological Science has shown that experiential purchases--money spent on doing--may provide more enduring happiness than material purchases (money spent on having). Participants reported that waiting for an experience elicits significantly more happiness, pleasantness and excitement than waiting for a material good.
Given the results, the researchers suggest that it may make sense to delay consumption of some purchases, and shift spending away from material goods to more experiences. In short--start planning for vacations, dinner parties and concerts ahead of time to reap more benefits from anticipation.
Abundance, adversity and savoring
Can less really be more? Research published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin shows that both material and experiential wealth tends to reduce people's ability to savor simple joys and experiences. Wealth and abundance may undermine appreciation and reduce the positive emotions associated with everyday experiences.
The cost of lending money
Researchers at UCLA and Harvard Business School are studying how lenders and borrowers differ in how they mentally account for loaned funds, and the expectations for how the money should be spent.
What do the wealthy need to be happy?
Many people believe that becoming rich is the path to happiness, but pursuing wealth may be an ineffective means of pursuing well-being. According to a study from researchers at Harvard Business School, the University of Mannheim and Yale University, wealthy individuals report that having three to four times as much money would give them a perfect "10" score on happiness--regardless of how much wealth they already have.
"Wealthy individuals--whether worth $1 million or $10 million--are not happier as their wealth increases," says lead researcher Michael Norton. The research shows that current happiness is not related to wealth and may even be negatively related to income. The study is expected to be published in the coming year.
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