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BPS RESEARCH DIGEST: People think that money affects happiness more than it really does

December 7, 2009

The less you have the more you think it will make you happy.

With dogged determination we lie, rob, borrow, gamble and sometimes work too, in the hope of boosting our income. So zealous is our pursuit of money, it's as if we think it will somehow make us happier. Strangely enough, whilst psychologists and economists have conducted numerous studies showing that the relationship between income and happiness is weak, only one prior study has asked what lay people really believe about money and happiness (and this was focused on middle-income, working women). It's into this empirical desert that Lara Aknin and colleagues arrive with a survey of hundreds of North Americans of mixed age, gender and wealth. Aknin's team have found that people do indeed overestimate the link between money and happiness, especially at lower levels of income.

via BPS RESEARCH DIGEST: People think that money affects happiness more than it really does.

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