Tag: Happiness

Can Money Buy Happiness? – Scientific American

Money can’t buy you love. Worshipping Mammon foments evil ways. Materialists are shallow and unhappy. The greenback finds itself in tough times these days. Whether it’s Wall Street bankers earning lavish multi-million-dollar bonuses or two-bit city managers in Los Angeles County bringing in higher salaries than President Obama the recessionary economic climate has helped spur outrage and revulsion at those of us collecting undeserved lucre.

Wealthy people have a bad rep. Sure, there are philanthropists like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, who have given billions of their net worth away and have made the world a better, healthier, safer place. But, sadly, they are an exception. American families who make over $300,000 a year donate to charity a mere 4 percent of their incomes. The statistic should not be surprising, as studies by University of Minnesota psychologist Kathleen Vohs and her collaborators have shown that merely glimpsing dollar bills makes

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Research: Can Money Buy Happiness?

A boy holding a toy train
A boy looks at a toy train he received during an annual gift-giving event on Christmas Eve 2011. | Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez

What inspires people to act selflessly, help others, and make personal sacrifices? Each quarter, this column features one piece of scholarly research that provides insight on what motivates people to engage in what psychologists call “prosocial behavior” — things like making charitable contributions, buying gifts, volunteering one‘s time, and so forth. In short, it looks at the work of some of our finest researchers on what spurs people to do something on behalf of someone else.

In this column I explore the idea that many of the ways we spend money are prosocial acts — and prosocial expenditures may, in fact, make us happier than personal expenditures. Authors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton discuss evidence for this in their new book, Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending

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The Secret to Happiness? Spend Money on Experiences, Not Things

We like buying things, at least we think we do. It’s bred into us. Life in the 21st century is a fast paced, consumer oriented experience where media surrounds us at all times enforcing the idea that happiness is a matter of buying the perfect house, driving the best car, wearing the trendiest clothes and posting status updates on the latest high tech devices. Everywhere we look we are inundated with the same message: “BUY, BUY, BUY your way to happiness!” While buying a new gadget or the first drive in a new car may be satisfying or thrilling for a short while, the thrill always fades and we find ourselves back in the same place seeking the
next
purchase to keep the feeling going. If this sounds anything like your life then rest assured there is a better way to spend your money and keep that feeling alive: Stop

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