Money may buy happiness, but often so little that it doesn’t matter



Boyce CJ, Daly M, Hounkpatin HO & Wood AM (2017) Money may buy happiness, but often so little that it doesn’t matter. Psychological Science, 28 (4), pp. 544-546.

First paragraph: Whether money buys happiness or not is a question of enduring individual and societal interest that has justifiably attracted considerable attention from researchers across the social sciences (Clark, Frijters, & Shields, 2008;Kahneman & Deaton, 2010). Consistently, research points toward a weak relationship between money and happiness (Lucas & Dyrenforth, 2006), which has led many researchers to conclude that people will have to go beyond focusing on money in order to improve their lives (Diener & Seligman, 2004). However, one interesting research stream suggests that the weak relationship between money and happiness arises because people do not spend their money wisely (Dunn, Gilbert, & Wilson, 2011). The implication is that more money would translate into greater happiness if people spent it “right”; for example, on experiences rather than possessions (Van Boven & Gilovich, 2003) or on other people rather than themselves (Dunn, Aknin, & Norton, 2008).

Psychological Science: Volume 28, Issue 4

FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Publication date30/04/2017
Publication date online17/03/2017
Date accepted by journal12/09/2016

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Dr Christopher Boyce
Dr Christopher Boyce

Honorary Research Fellow, SMS Management and Support

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