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Buying Happiness

Despite popular claims to the contrary, science tells us that money can not buy happiness.

Recent research has begun to distinguish two aspects of subjective well-being. Emotional well-being refers to the emotional quality of the daily experience of a person - the frequency and intensity of experiences of joy, stress, sadness, anger and affection that make life pleasant or unpleasant . evaluation of life refers to the idea that people have about their life when they think about it. We raise the question of whether money buys happiness, separately for these two aspects of well-being. An analysis of more than 450,000 responses to Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a daily survey of 1,000 U.S. residents conducted by the Gallup Organization. [...] When plotted against log income, life evaluation rises steadily. Emotional well-being also rises with log income, but there is no progress beyond an annual income of about $ 75,000.

For reference, the federal poverty level for a family of four is now $ 23.050. Once you get a little more than three times the poverty level of income, which reached a maximum of happiness, at least that money alone can not reasonably be obtained.

This is something that I have seen repeated in a number of studies. Once you have the money "sufficient" to satisfy the basic elements at the bottom of the hierarchy of needs of Maslow's pyramid - ie you do not have to worry about food, shelter, security and perhaps with a little extra money for discretionary unknown - stack more money, until recently, at any rate, to help intensify the top of the pyramid.

But even if you're lucky enough to have a good income, how to spend their money have a strong influence on how happy - or unhappy - it will. And, again, there is no science behind it. Relevant research is summarized in the case of money makes you happy, then you probably do not spend much.

Most people do not know the basic scientific facts about happiness - on what to and what support - and so do not know how to use their money to buy it. No wonder rich people who know nothing of the end came with wineries that are not much better supplied than its neighbors, and it is not surprising that rich people who know nothing of the final n joy lives' t that much happier than anyone else. Money is a chance for happiness, but it is an opportunity that people routinely squander because the things they believe will make them happy often do not have.

  Add to cart It can also recognize some of the authors of this work, including Dan Gilbert, who also wrote the excellent book Stumbling on Happiness, which refers to many of the same problems.
What, then, the science of happiness? I will summarize the eight basis points better than I can, but I read the actual newspaper for appointments and details on basic studies that support each of these principles.

1.   Buy experiences instead of thingsThings get old. Things become normal. Things remain the same. Things wear out. Things are difficult to share. But the experiences are quite unique, shining like diamonds in the memory, often with more intensity each year, which can be shared forever. Whenever possible, spend money on experiences such as taking your family to Disney World, instead of things like a new TV.

2. Help others rather than youHumans are intensely social animals. All we can do with the money to build closer relationships with other human beings tends to strengthen social ties and strengthen our positive feelings about ourselves and others. Imagine ways to spend some of their money to help others - even in a small way - and integrate it in your regular spending habits.

3. Buy many small pleasures instead of a few largeBecause we so easily adapt to change, the more efficient use of your money to frequent changes, modifies only "Big Bang" that will grow quickly acclimated. Divide large purchases, if possible, smaller over time so you can enjoy the whole experience. When it comes to happiness, it is often more important than intensity. Embrace the idea that a lot of shopping, pretty are actually more effective than a single giant.

4. Buy less insuranceHumans adapt easily to changes, both positive and negative. Extended warranties and insurance in their march to the companies loss aversion, but because we are so adaptable, people feel less remorse than anticipated purchases when not in use. It also has the possibility of insurance "out" or a generous return policy, paradoxically, can lead to even more distress and sadness, because people have been deprived of the emotional commitment of a total profit. Therefore, do not buy insurance, and does not seek to generous return policies.

5.  Pay now and consume laterInstant gratification can lead to make purchases you can not afford, or perhaps not even really want. Impulse buying is also deprived of the distance necessary to make informed decisions. It removes any sense of anticipation, which is a great source of happiness. For maximum happiness, taste (perhaps even longer!) Uncertainty deciding to buy, what to buy, and the time waiting for the object of his desire to achieve.

6. Think about what you do not thinkWe tend to overlook details when considering future purchases, but research shows that happiness (or unhappiness) is largely exactly those little details that do not think. Before making a major purchase, consider the mechanics and logistics of having this thing, and where the actual time spent once you have. Try to imagine a typical day in your life, in detail, hour by hour, how is affected by this purchase?

7. Beware of comparison shoppingComparison shopping is we focused on product attributes that we arbitrarily distinguish one product from another, but they have nothing to do with what we enjoy buying. They focus on the characteristics of interest while shopping, but not necessarily what we really care about when the use or consumption of what he had just bought. In other words, to get a good deal on cheap chocolate for $ 2 may not matter if it is not pleasant to eat. Do not be fooled for comparison over, try not to weigh the criteria that are important to your enjoyment or experience.

8. Follow the herd instead of your headDo not overestimate your ability to independently predict the amount that you can enjoy something. We, scientifically speaking, very wrong with that. But if something reliable makes others happy, is likely to make you happy. Reviews user reviews and other weight much in their purchasing decisions.
Happiness is much more difficult to get money. So when you spend your money, you have these eight lessons in mind to maximize the happiness that you can buy for you. And do not forget: It's Science!

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