Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Whoops, Looks Like Money CAN Buy Happiness (Even Beyond the Poverty Line)!

Scrooge McDuck:  happiest duck in the universe?
From Joshua Kennen.
Science is a fickle mistress. Sometimes she merely confirms what we already think we know, and sometimes she turns common wisdom on its head. According to a new study linked in the Harvard Crimson, “money can buy many, if not most, if not all of the things that make people happy.” The study comes from one of my favorite people, Daniel Gilbert, along with Elizabeth Dunn and Timothy Wilson.

The researchers hypothesize that money's traditional inability to provide happiness comes not from money itself, but from humanity's general lack of knowledge about longterm happiness. In other words, if consumers actually knew the best way to spend money, it would make them quite happy. Instead, people base their purchasing decisions on price and superficial factors that won't matter to them as time goes on.

This story holds sentimental value for me, because my very first post on this blog was about different salary-based thresholds for happiness. Seems like only yesterday! (Actually it was only a bit less than two months ago.) If this new Daniel Gilbert study is true, it would overturn that previous study, as long as people spend their money more wisely. Which they probably won't, but oh well.

No comments:

Post a Comment