Would You Be Happier If You Were Richer

Topics: Income, Household income in the United States, Personal life Pages: 3 (942 words) Published: October 17, 2012
Would you be happier if you were richer? A Focusing Illusion by Kahneman •The belief that high income is associated with good mood is widespread but mostly illusory oHowever those who are rich tend to be more tense and don’t spend time in enjoyable activities •Focus illusion: he says people exaggerate the contribution of income to happiness because they FOCUS on the conventional/established/standard achievements when evaluating their lives. •Measuring subjects well being through surveys by asking questions like oAll things considered how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days? oTaken all together, would you say that you are very happy, pretty happy or not to happy •= global evaluation of your life

oreport their feelings in real time
judgments of life satisfaction or happiness has not changed much over the last four decades olife satisfaction and household income = positively correlated: increases in income make a transitory effect on individuals reported life satisfaction oBUT the correlation between income and subjective well being is weaker when a measure of experienced happiness is used instead of a global measure. •FOCUSING ILLUSION: WHEN PEOPLE CONSIDER THE IMPACT OF ANY SINGLE FACTOR ON THEIR WELL BEING, NOT ONLY INCOME, THEY ARE PRONE TO EXAGGERATE ITS IMPORTANCE. oThus when given survey on your happiness by which your well being is measured you may induce this illusion oThis may be a source of error in significant decisions that people make oEx; when colleagues asked how happy are you with your life in general then how many dates did you have last month the correlation was -0.012 •When question changed order they became positively correlated •The dating question caused that aspect of life to become salient and its importance to be exaggerated when the respondents encountered the more general questions about their happiness. •In order to understand how happy you are they must ask questions focusing on different...
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