The Correlation of Income Level and Happiness Level

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Ariella Dayan (326883881)
Quantitative Research Methods- Shani Greenspan
November 25, 2012

The Correlation of Income Level and Happiness Level
This study will investigate the relationship between income and happiness. A very popular question in today’s society is whether money can buy happiness. Happiness has been shown to be related to many things. It is found to be related to social class, success, power, health, valued belongings, religious beliefs, companionship, being employed in a secure job, having a full social life, and more or less accumulation of money. Research shows that money does not buy happiness but it comes indirectly from the higher rank in society that money brings. “The rank-income hypothesis” was tested and found that the ranked position of an individual’s income predicts general life satisfaction. Once someone has a large amount of money they may become part of a different social group which brings more confidence and satisfaction. A persons’ satisfaction and self-esteem will increase if his social rank increases or if those who once had the same social rank him decreases. People naturally feel better and more satisfied if they are better than others. (Boyce, C. et al. 2010) People dedicate so much energy in trying to make more money, when having more money does not make them that much happier. People may be happy with their current level of wealth and stop trying to accumulate more if not for the urge humans have to compare themselves with others in every way possible: attractiveness, intelligence, height, weight, and crucially, financial success. The writer H. L. Mencken said, "A wealthy man is one who earns $100 a year more than his wife's sister's husband." This frustration of seeing someone “better” than you becomes a huge motivator when it comes to making more money. People are very concerned with the phenomenon of “Keeping up with the Joneses.” Hollywood made a movie about a wealthy and good looking American family and the...
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