The Non- Importance of Money

Topics: Positive psychology, Happiness, Household income in the United States Pages: 5 (1465 words) Published: April 7, 2014
"Money can't buy happiness" How many of you have heard of this quote? How many of you agree with this? Don’t answer, this quote is one of most well-known that I know of. How many of you agree with this? Tell me now, would you be happy, if you had all the money you wanted, but no family? Would you still be happy if you lived in a war-torn country, but had all the money in the world? Would you be happy, if you had all the money in the world, but no friends? No, I doubt you would. 

I mean just the other day, I was with a friend during the job assembly and the speaker was talking about the money that you earned for a certain job, now my friend and I were having a deep conversation and then she said that she wanted more. More, then it dawned on me that she meant more as in More money. I guess having more money would sounds fun and interesting but is it really worth it. I mean just imagine sitting down on a bed with tv, your favourite pack of chips and just watching movies, all day everyday. Its sounds fun but seriously I mean what would you do with all that money. Buy clothes, get a new car, get a mansion. Yeah, yeah ou can get that but what use is it if you don’t spend it with someone like for example a friend, or

Psychologists, philosophers and ordinary folks have debated this question for years.  
In the last decade, the field of psychology took a dramatic turn from only looking at mental illness, to exploring what makes people feel fulfilled, engaged and happy.  This Positive Psychology Movement has produced an expansive amount of researchers who are looking at things such as happiness, positive emotions, optimism and healthy character traits.  At some point, every one of these top researchers explored the effects of money on happiness and positive emotions.  

What we are finding out is that happiness is the ultimate currency.  Not only do happy people enjoy life more and have more fun, but they also practice positive lifestyle habits and have stronger immune systems.  When faced with illness, happier and more optimistic individuals have been shown to be more proactive in their medical care, more compliant with treatment and medication, have quicker recoveries and show better health outcomes.  So, if we want to be healthier and happier, it’s worth figuring out where money comes into play.  

When we talk about happiness, we need to look at it from two separate aspects--life satisfaction as a whole vs. moment-to-moment moods.  I can be satisfied with my overall life, yet still have moments when I am not happy.  Vice versa, some folks can be dissatisfied with their current circumstances and wish for change, but still have many moments of joy throughout the day.  Interestingly, money affects our feelings about both aspects of happiness. Income is often thought to be a good measure of happiness and well-being.  However, when researched, it was found to be less significant than predicted.  Although individuals with higher income levels report overall satisfaction with their lives, they often enjoy themselves less on a daily basis and experience greater moments of stress than those with lower incomes.  

When does income make a significant difference in our level of happiness?  If we struggle to afford good housing, food, or education, both life satisfaction and mood plummets.  Edward Diener, a premier researcher in the field of Positive Psychology, found that once a person's basic needs are met, additional income does little to raise his or her sense of satisfaction with life.  Many other cross-cultural and longitudinal studies have also shown a very low correlation between material wealth and happiness, except in cases of extreme poverty where people were deprived of basic needs.  

So, how much income is needed to be comfortable and meet our basic needs?  A study from Princeton Universityfound that a larger paycheck does lead to a happier life—but only to a certain point. According to the study, people who earned...
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