Who said “money can’t buy happiness”? New study disagrees
It was the verbal balm that was supposed to heal the wound of a person struggling to move forward. “Well, you know, money doesn’t buy happiness,” a well-meaning encouragement would say.
However, according to a Motherboard-Vice report, in a “complicated and nuanced” study conducted over 10 years ago by Nobel Prize-winning economists, it was suggested that indeed, money buys happiness.
But the report said, the researchers concluded that earning around $ 75,000 a year was the point where that happiness tended to stabilize – happiness declined to amounts less than that, but incomes greater than that did not necessarily add to “feeling”. of well-being “of a person.
The idea behind this study is that the “happiness” that money offers at this level is due to its provision of basic necessities and its stability, but not much beyond that. In other words, Vice reported, “Multi-billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are a lot richer but not so happy than the rest of us.”
However, Vice reported that a new study published in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” claims that the figure of $ 75,000 is superfluous and that “happiness continues to rise. increase beyond this threshold. “
Vice quoted the study titled “Lived well-being increases with income, even above $ 75,000 per year”, which said: “There was … no evidence of an income threshold at which the good -being experienced and evaluative diverged, suggesting that higher incomes are associated with both feeling better on a daily basis and being more satisfied with life in general.
What was the new study based on?
The new study, the work of Matt Killingsworth, a senior researcher at the Wharton School for Business at the University of Pennsylvania, is based on 1,725,994 samples taken from 33,391 employed American adults, Vice reported.
Vice said the samples were collected using an app he designed called Follow your happiness. “The way it works is that people get pinged at random times during their day-to-day lives,” Killingsworth said. Motherboard on Zoom. “And then I ask them a few questions about their experience, just before this moment, how they are feeling, what they are doing and a variety of other things.”
Vice quoted Killingsworth, who also collected basic data on his subject’s income and life in general. He said: “I was really interested in understanding what the relationship was between people’s income level and their level of what we might call ‘lived well-being’.”
What is “lived well-being”?
Vice defines “experienced well-being” as “a measure of happiness taken in the moment, and is completely subjective and rooted in the time and place a subject is asked about it. It is also distinct from evaluative well-being ”, which Vice defines as “a comprehensive assessment of the life of a person separated from a particular time”.
Vice reported that in the 2010 study, both perceived and evaluative well-being were tested. The study found that “experienced well-being peaked at $ 75,000”, but it also found that “evaluative well-being increased as income increased, even above $ 75,000.”
How does the Killingsworth study compare to the 2010 study?
Killingsworth’s study focuses on experienced well-being, and its data mostly match that of the previous study, Vice reported.
Vice quoted Killingsworth, who said: “We find similar models for evaluative well-being and similar models in various other ways in the data. He added: “There is actually a lot of consistency.”
Corn Vice noted that the Killingsworth findings show that happiness does not cap at $ 75,000 – rather, “the wellness experience keeps increasing along the same trend lines.”
What caused the difference in the study results?
Killingsworth believes the study results vary due to a “difference in sample size and method of data collection,” report Noted.
Vice quoted Killingsworth, who said: “I have arguably some of the best data out there on how people really feel in everyday life.”
Killingsworth also said this about the original study, which he says is more nuanced than you think: worrying about money, ”he said. “I think it’s rather attractive. And while what I have discovered is true, that $ 75,000 is not a key threshold, it probably helps to bring as many people as possible to a basic level of financial security.
Money is not everything.
Vice noted that Killingsworth stressed – the pursuit of wealth in itself is not a means of happiness. “Wealth explains a small gap,” he said. “There are lots of other things that are just as, if not more important … I also asked people how important money was to them. And if I look at people who say that money is not very important to them, it hardly predicts their happiness. It’s possible not to earn much and still be quite happy … we just don’t understand all of these things, ”said the report cited.
A person’s perspective on money greatly determined the role money played in their happiness, Vice noted – and quoted Killingsworth, who said, “What is life like for someone who doesn’t earn a lot, but who says money isn’t important?” He said. “I don’t have a big answer to that, I don’t know. But I know they’re there and I know they value life about as much as similar people who earn a lot more, “Killingsworth said.
Confusing money with personal success is unhappy.
The report explained that there was one thing that was “universally true” about all of Killingsworth’s subjects: “Anyone who confused money with personal success was miserable.”
Vice Quoted Killingsworth: “It’s especially bad if you’re not making a lot of money. He added, “But there doesn’t seem to be a point where confusing personal success with your bottom line is a good thing… to have more. [money] that’s fine, but obsessing over it and using it to define your self-esteem probably isn’t such a good idea.