What made the ads so intriguing, but also so infuriating, was that they seemed to offer a simple—if rather expensive—solution to a common question: How can you transform the money you work so hard to earn into something approaching the good life? You know that there must be some connection between money and happiness. The relationship between money and happiness, it would appear, is more complicated than you can possibly imagine. Over the past quarter-century, economists and psychologists have banded together to sort out the hows, whys and why-nots of money and mood. Especially the why-nots. Why is it that the more money you have, the more you want?
Most of us have heard that money can't buy happiness. But the way you view wealth and materialism may have a significant effect on how satisfied and happy you are with your life, according to a new study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life. After analyzing results from a survey of over 7, German adults for the study, researchers at the Binghamton University School of Management found that people's feelings about materialism tend to be nuanced. Specifically, there's a difference between "happiness materialism" and "success materialism," the researchers found. Buying into "happiness materialism" — the belief that wealth is an indicator of a happy life — tends to be problematic because it takes "much time, energy and money away from other life domains that make an important and positive contribution to present life satisfaction," such as family, work and health, the study authors wrote. However, researchers believe focusing on "success materialism" — the idea that wealth signifies success — enhances people's "economic motivation," or their drive to work and improve their standard of living. Thinking about success through that lens could make individuals more satisfied with their present lives and hopeful about the future.
There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase. A recent study showed that money can buy happiness, but only a certain amount.
Yet, the reality is that we all spend money and for most of us it is a limited resource. How can we spend our hard earned dough in ways that will maximize our happiness? Psychological research offers some useful insights about the connections between money and happiness to consider before you make your next purchase.