You Can't Buy Happiness
Looks like the best things in life really are free: when it comes to happiness, the respect and admiration of others are more important than how much money you have, according to new research.
Researchers at the University of California Berkeley said that positive feedback from your family, community or local organizations, counted more than socioeconomic status when calculating happiness.
They reached that conclusion after conducted four studies, including one of students who were in campus organizations like sororities and ROTC, and another of MBAs both before and after graduation. They found that in both cases, “sociometric” status (respect and admiration) predicted social well-being more than socioeconomic status. And once the sociometric status changed, so did the feeling of well-being.
Said scientist Cameron Anderson, ““I was surprised at how fluid these effects were – if someone’s standing in their local ladder went up or down, so did their happiness, even over the course of nine months. ”
One reason sociometric status may be more important than socioeconomic status is that the positive feelings you get from others’ admiration “never get old,” Cameron said. But increased wealth makes people happy only for a while, and they quickly return to their original level of happiness.
The study was published in the journal “Psychological Science.”