Study: Money Does Not Buy Much Happiness


Devourer of Worlds
Sep 1, 2000
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By Sara Goudarzi
LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 29 June 2006
02:00 pm ET

Your next raise might buy you a more lavish vacation, a better car, or a few extra bedrooms, but it's not likely to buy you much happiness.

Measuring the quality of people's daily lives via surveys, the results of a study published in the June 30 issue of journal Science reveals that income plays a rather insignificant role in day-to-day happiness.

Although most people imagine that if they had more money they could do more fun things and perhaps be happier, the reality seems to be that those with higher incomes tend to be tenser, and spend less time on simple leisurely activities.

Scaling bad mood
In 2004, the researchers developed a survey tool that measures people's quality of daily lives. Then they asked 909 employed women to record the previous day's activities and their feelings toward them.

The study focused on women because the researchers wanted to study a homogeneous group while the surveys were in the early developmental stages.

Recently, the researchers revisited the data from the 2004 and focused on correlating the amount of income with the percentage of time each participant reported as being in a bad mood each day.

It was expected that those who made less than $20,000 a year would spend 32 percent more of their time in a bad mood than those that had an annual income greater than $100,000.

In reality, the low-income group spent only 12 percent more time in a bad mood than their wealthier counterparts. This suggests that the link between income and mood has been perhaps overstated.

The researchers once again surveyed another group of women in 2005. In this study, participants not only recorded their overall satisfaction with life but a moment-to-moment account of their contentment.

The results showed that higher income had less of a correlation with momentary happiness than with overall life satisfaction.

"If people have high income, they think they should be satisfied and reflect that in their answers," said study team member Alan Krueger, an economist from Princeton University. "Income, however, matters very little for moment-to-moment experience."

More chores, less fun
Krueger and colleagues also looked at data from a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey to see how people in different income brackets spent their time.

What they found was that those with higher incomes had more chores and less fun.

They devoted more time to working, commuting, childcare, and shopping and were under more stress and tension than those in lower income brackets.

According to government statistics, men who make more than $100,000 a year spend 19.9 percent of their time on passive leisure activities such as watching television and socializing. Meanwhile, men whose annual income were less than $20,000 spent more than 34 percent of their time dedicated to passive leisure.

Although the correlation between income and life satisfaction is weak, people are highly motivated to increase their income. This illusion may lead to more time spent on activities like commuting while sacrificing time spent on socializing, something that people consider amongst the best moments of their daily life, the researchers said in the study.

The scientists are now conducting a national survey with both male and female sample groups
Well if I were rich, I'd certainly be happy.
The trickis to win the lottery, so you have as much passive leisure time as possible.
People that say "money can't buy happiness", don't know where to shop.
I can pretty much boil down most of my unhappiness to not having the money to do what I want with my life.
Study: Money Does Not Buy Much Happiness

Not much? So? I don't need much happiness. I need money.
It can't buy happiness, but it can prevent you from being unhappy, like the unhappy of being broke.
Money doesn't buy you the real important things like friendships or peace of mind. Ask Howard Hughes, who died in a motel room with self-inflicted body sores all over him.

I still don't care, I'd like enough to live on for the rest of my life with ease.
I really hope these scientists aren't being paid to do this.

"So what do you do for a living?"
"I study the behavior of human beings, specifically the field which deals with money not buying happiness."
"You = Lose."
It's because happiness can't be bought. I'd still rather be rich though.:confused:
Go tell the guy living in the dumpster in an ally "Money can't buy happiness" and don't be surprised if he thanks you with a swift kick to balls.
Yeah, money can't buy happiness. Unless you're a snob. Genuine human happiness lies in things that can't generally be bought: family, friends, simple things that so many common people take for granted.

Rich people who buy expensive clothes, items, maybe even spouses, it's all superficial. Yeah, you have alot of stuff. But what does that do? It just makes you look good to other people. It might even land you on VH1's "The Fabulous Life Of..." Some richies get off on that. Does owning that stuff genuinely make you happy though? I doubt it. It makes you happy on an upper level. But I seriously don't think it can make your heart just as blissful.

It's always nice to have money. I mean ****, I could sure use winning the lottery right now. Who wouldn't want money? It's all about finding a balance. If you rely just on money to bring you happiness, then it's superficial.

I've got a nephew. I love him to death. I wouldn't trade him for all the money in the world. Because I know all the money in the world couldn't buy me someone like him.
I have to prove that wrong... Money does buy happiness! I love money and i wouldnt be happy without it lol
It doesn't buy happiness, but it makes misery easier to deal with.
Galactus said:
By Sara Goudarzi
LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 29 June 2006
02:00 pm ET

I know this woman. I worked with her and she was very easy on the eyes. We went out all the time for lunch. :o :up:
No, money does not buy happiness, but it does attract women, and a lot of hot women putting out does make you happy, so there. ;)
"money does not buy much happiness"

I beg to differ. Money is everything. It's what makes the world go round.
the_joker said:
"money does not buy much happiness"

I beg to differ. Money is everything. It's what makes the world go round.

I thought the world went round becouse of gravity and centrifugal forces from its orbit around the sun? :confused:
Alot of money would make me quite happy.
Lackey said:
they did the study all wrong
Yeah, scientists should give me a few million and see if I'm happy.
Interesting study. Theoretically speaking and all. But I'd like a chance to find out for myself. Thats right. :)
If I had money I might not be able to buy it but I sure could rent it for a while.

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