save an egg, crack a smile :D

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Ever heard the saying, "money can't buy you happiness"? Turns out this statement is false! Studies show that its not how much money you have, but how you spend your money that is the factor that will increase your happiness. Science Magazine published the article Spending Money on Others Promotes Happiness by Elizabeth W. Dunn in 2009. Three tests were done where the highest noted level of happiness came from those who had more prosocial spending compared to personal spending. In the first test 632 Americans (55% female) were asked their level of happiness, annual income, estimated monthly cost for bills and expenses, gifts for themselves, gifts for others and charity donations. Bills and expenses and gifts for themselves were considered personal spending. Gifts for others and donations were grouped into prosocial spending. In the outcome for the first test general happiness was unrelated to personal spending, but prosocial spending was related with greater happiness. To prove relation of how much you make related to happiness and the way money was spent a second test was done. The test included 16 employees before and after receiving a bonus. They were asked to record happiness and annual income before the bonus. Six to eight weeks after the bonus was given, the same group of 16 employes were asked their general happiness and percent of bonus spent on bill and expenses, rent or mortgage, buying things for themselves, buying things for other, donating to charity and other. Tests showed that prosocial spending was the only factor that generated higher happiness. For the third and final test, a study was done to prove that prosocial spending generated greater happiness. Group of 46 random participants were asked their level of happiness in the morning and were given envelopes with the amounts of either $5 or $20 and were to report back by 5 pm. Half the group was asking to spend the money on either a bill, expense or gift for themselves. The other half of the group were asked to spend the money on a gift for someone else or a donation to charity. When 5 oclock came around all were again asked the level of happiness. The amount of money did not effect the overall happiness, but the prosocial spending did in fact have a generally higher level of happiness. This study was very interesting to me. Next time you are feeling down, try buying someone a little gift and it should brighten your mood.

happiness is in the palm of your hand

All information was provided from the article in Science Magazine written by Elizabeth W. Dunn

1 Comment

I have always wondered how "happiness" is measured in studies so this post was pretty cool. Though it pains me to see our humanity becoming more and more shallow, it is something that is evident. The world values survey did a study on measuring happiness and had it ask more than just financial questions:
"Quantifying happiness most commonly relies on self-reporting. Happiness surveys such as the Revised Oxford Happiness Scale ask a comprehensive set of questions, while the Satisfaction with Life Scale poses only five. Generally, these polls ask people to rate their satisfaction about various aspects of their lives on a scale. For example, one of the most critical questions asked in the World Values Survey is:
"Taking all things together, would you say you are very happy, rather happy, not very happy or not at all happy?"" [source: World Values Survey]

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