Thursday, March 20, 2008

Money and Happiness

They say "money can't buy happiness". Well, this report in the latest issue of Science suggests that spending money on others can actually promote one's happiness. Here is the abstract:

Spending Money on Others Promotes Happiness
Elizabeth W. Dunn et. al.

Although much research has examined the effect of income on happiness, we suggest that how people spend their money may be at least as important as how much money they earn. Specifically, we hypothesized that spending money on other people may have a more positive impact on happiness than spending money on oneself. Providing converging evidence for this hypothesis, we found that spending more of one's income on others predicted greater happiness both cross-sectionally (in a nationally representative survey study) and longitudinally (in a field study of windfall spending). Finally, participants who were randomly assigned to spend money on others experienced greater happiness than those assigned to spend money on themselves.