Money vs. Happiness

  by  |  May 13th, 2009  |  Published in All, Brain & Psychology, Featured


 |  Stumble |  Share on Facebook |  Tweet This | 

 

It’s commencement time, and psychology researchers say those valedictory speeches about how success isn’t measured in riches are much more than mere platitudes. As this ScienCentral News video explains, they’ve found new evidence that “American Dream” achievements like wealth, fame and image are not the keys to happiness.

[If you cannot see the flash video below, you can click here for a high quality mp4 video.]

Interviewees: Chelsea McGuire, future doctor, Ashley Anderson, future educator, Asher Perzigian, healthcare industry and
Edward L. Deci, University of Rochester
Produced by Joyce Gramza– Edited by Christopher
Bergendorff Copyright © ScienCentral, Inc

Goals and Gains

Graduating from a topnotch institution makes the chances good that seniors like future doctor Chelsea McGuire, future educator Ashley Anderson, and soon-to-be healthcare industry analyst Asher Persigian will be able to attain whatever life goals they set.

And all of these graduating University of Rochester students agree that success is not defined by fame or fortune.

Fulbright scholar McGuire will spend a year in the Dominican Republic helping to fight the HIV epidemic before attending medical school. She wants to make healthcare, which she views as “the basic prerequisite to anything,” more efficient and accessible. “That’s not necessarily a very glamorous job, or particularly high on the fame and fortune context, but that I think would make me happier than anything else,” she says.

Anderson, president of the campus Black Students’ Union and an accomplished dancer, hopes to provide educational opportunities to all, regardless of “special needs” or other labels. She thinks by being smart and planning ahead, she can have financial security without being materialistic. “I’m a woman of faith,” she says. “No money amount would be able to give me what God can give me and what I can give to other people.”

Also on ScienCentral

And even though Perzigian is looking forward to experiencing the fast-paced corporate world and culture, “we can’t keep that up forever,” he says, adding that he had several job offers and took the one that would take him back near his hometown and family. “Without people… to share your life with, I really don’t see the point,” he says.

But a look around at American culture is a quick reminder that not everyone can stick to those principles, points out Edward Deci, a psychology professor at their alma mater and an expert in “Self Determination Theory,” or “SDT.” SDT, a relatively recent psychological theory, involves understanding our basic psychological needs and how satisfying them – or not—affects our psychological health and well-being—or ill-being.

“The lure of the dollar bill is pretty big, and you can find yourself in situations where you end up putting a lot more emphasis on those than you initially thought you would have,” Deci says.

Now Deci and his colleagues have evidence that not only pursuing, but actually attaining what he calls “American Dream-type” goals can work against psychological health and well-being.

And while anyone struggling to pay bills in this tough economy might wish we had spent more time chasing the dollar, Deci says the study confirms that intangible achievements like loving relationships and families, personal growth, and contributing to our communities really do boost our psychological health and well-being.

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

Deci, graduate student Christopher Niemiec, and fellow University of Rochester psychologist Richard Ryan surveyed graduates of four-year colleges and universities for two years following graduation, as the young adults began to attain their goals. The surveys measured attainment of so-called “intrinsic” goals like relationships and personal growth, as well as “extrinsic” (ie, “American Dream”) goals like money and prestige.

The surveys also probed for indicators of both psychological health and well-being, and for separate indicators of psychological ill-health or ill-being.

Analyzing the results showed that attaining intrinsic goals like loving relationships and contributing to one’s community contributed strongly to the subjects’ psychological well-being and also worked against ill-being.

But attaining extrinsic goals like wealth, fame and image do nothing for one’s psychological well-being and actually contribute strongly to ill-being. “Their attainment of those goals does not help their happiness, satisfaction, vitality and wellness at all,” says Deci. “It contributes zero to that. And the more unsettling finding is that it actually contributes to their greater ill-being, which is to say more anxiety and depressive symptoms.”

Deci notes that it was already well-known that pursuing wealth, fame and image can lead to stress and ill-health, but the idea that attaining them could be detrimental is counterintuitive, as well as counter to entrenched American cultural values.

“People have always argued … ‘Well, it might be hard for them to be pursuing those, but once they’ve attained the goals then they’re really going to experience this great sense of wellness and happiness and satisfaction,” he says.

But this new evidence “argues pretty strongly against the widely-held notion that if I just get rich and famous I’d be so happy.”

Deci points out that this study was limited to a sample of well-educated people in their twenties, and used self-report surveys. He says future studies will look at different populations like retirees and possibly also include objective measures of the different variables.

Meanwhile, Deci advises the class of 2009 to take careful stock of their goals and values on a continuing basis to keep them in balance.

“We want to have a life that’s comfortable, we want to have children and be able to send them to college and so forth, and that takes a certain amount of money and resources to do that,” he says. “The real issue is to what extent do you let that dominate your life?”

For the record, we tried to tempt the three seniors we interviewed by asking them if they wanted the top of the line Blackberry, or a certain status-y brand of bag, but there were no takers.

“I actually own a Coach bag, but it was a gift from a family member,” says Anderson. “So it really doesn’t make me feel any happier than if I just had a regular bag. A bag is a bag, a shoe is a shoe, a hat is a hat, and that’s just how I am.”

This research will be published in the Journal of Research in Personality, June 2009 and was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Elsewhere on the Web:

National Well-being Indicators

More on SDT Theory and anti-materialism from psychology professor Tim Kasser, UR’94

 

 

 

 |  Stumble |  Share on Facebook |  Tweet This | 


Responses

  1. Happiness Blog — Study finds the pursuit of wealth, fame and image does not make us happy says:

    May 15th, 2009 at 7:49 am (#)

    [...] more details visit sciencentral.com. SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “Study finds the pursuit of wealth, fame and image does not make us [...]

  2. Further Research on Money and Happiness | Lock in a good rate.com says:

    June 15th, 2009 at 11:00 am (#)

    [...] The research is summarized in this short video from ScienCentral: [...]

  3. Temuan Ilmiah Modern: Amal Baik Membahagiakan « ZULFIKRI’s Webblog says:

    July 13th, 2009 at 7:25 am (#)

    [...] Joyce Gramza (2009). Money vs Happiness. ScienCentral.com, May 13, 2009. http://www.sciencentral.com/video/2009/05/13/money-vs-happiness, terkunjungi pada 28 Juni [...]

  4. Skander says:

    September 6th, 2009 at 3:32 am (#)

    I think happiness comes from a combination of things: wealth, love, social status etc.
    There is no hard recipe since everybody values these things differently.

    However, it is possible to find out how much one specific individual values these different aspects through conjoint analysis, a statistical approach to extract one’s real preferences.

    I tried to implement this in a very simple (but rigorous) way online. Please let me know if you find it useful:
    http://dingsme.com/

    It is fun, but still scientifically accurate (as long as people do take the time to think about the answers).

  5. cjniya says:

    October 7th, 2009 at 10:25 am (#)

    How to gain happiness? Happiness is not the word that print on rubber wristbands. It is easy to gain, but we do not know it. Someone think that fortune could give us happiness; someone said the good-looking is the source for happiness and others consider the success is the main role in the happiness. Let’s talk about the dogs’ life first. There are so many dogs in the city, some of them are the lucky guys and some of them have to wander in the city. Some of the stray dogs could get the blood certificate but their owners do not like them so they just threw these noble dogs to the street. The excellent appearance could not change their tragedy life. For dogs, good-looking is not the key to happiness.
    Then there are some dogs that lead a rich life, their owners are rich and could offer them the high quality food. They have been trained to be the guard dogs and they have to stay outside the house all day long to perform their duties. They do not know the warm of the family, they are rich, but they are just the tool for their owners. And there are some dogs that live in the ordinary families, which could not afford the high quality food or toys for them. But they just consider the dogs as one member of the family and play with it. Every day their owners would have a walk with them, they also talk to them. Don’t you think these dogs are the luckiest and happiest ones? They have a family.
    And in my opinion, that is the key to happiness—- the warmth from the family. No matter how poor you are, no matter how ugly you are, family is the softest place for us. When we feel bad, we could go back home and find the comfort in our parents. We might not be accepted by others, but our parents, our families would behind us and support us forever. The real happiness is having a warm family.

  6. Nick1254367 says:

    December 1st, 2009 at 9:04 am (#)

    Hi,
    Interesting thoughts! I believe it’s not possible to make a general statement on whether money makes people more or less happy. Money comes with a whole set of new elements that may have good or bad impact on our happiness, and depending on how susceptible we are to every one of them, the conclusion will go one way or the other (i.e. different from person to person). I recently made an effort to provide a more comprehensive picture of what these ad- and disadvantages are. I invite you to have a look at Money and Happiness and tell me what you think!
    Thank you, Nick

  7. Jessica Taylor says:

    May 24th, 2010 at 12:04 pm (#)

    Happiness is a state of mind that really depends how we see the situations in our lives each day. you can have all the riches in the world but still see it as a lonely place.,-*

  8. sierra says:

    August 22nd, 2010 at 8:38 pm (#)

    i love happiness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i love happiness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i love happiness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i love happiness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i love happiness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i love happiness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Shower Screen %0B says:

    December 16th, 2010 at 2:48 am (#)

    true happiness can be difficult to achieve, you can be rich but still not be truly happy :–

  10. mobile landing page says:

    July 15th, 2011 at 1:20 pm (#)

    Once I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there any method you’ll be able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

  11. internet marketing brighton, mi says:

    July 19th, 2011 at 9:41 am (#)

    You made some decent points there. I seemed on the web for the difficulty and located most people will go together with together with your website.

  12. louisvuitton78 says:

    July 22nd, 2011 at 1:32 am (#)

    Thanks for another informative web site. Where else could I get that type of information written in such a perfect way? I have a project that I’m just now working on, and I’ve been on the look out for such info.

  13. un46d6400 says:

    August 4th, 2011 at 1:23 am (#)

    I’m delighted that I’ve noticed this weblog. Finally something not a junk, which we undergo incredibly frequently. The website is lovingly serviced and saved up to date. So it should be, thanks for sharing this with us.

  14. ugg orchid says:

    August 27th, 2011 at 7:36 pm (#)

    Hiya! I just wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the great information you’ve got right here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for extra soon.

  15. sexshop says:

    September 12th, 2011 at 2:09 am (#)

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say great blog!

  16. projektowanie stron www says:

    September 19th, 2011 at 12:59 am (#)

    Yeah bookmaking this wasn’t a high risk decision great post! .

  17. wwwdeliciouscake says:

    November 6th, 2011 at 12:27 pm (#)

    Very informative text. I’ve found your sitio web via Yahoo and I’m really happy about the information you provide in your articles. Btw your blogs layout is really messed up on the Chrome browser. Would be really great if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the great work!

  18. cristiano ronaldo safari says:

    November 8th, 2011 at 5:16 am (#)

    Spot on with this write-up, I really assume this website needs far more consideration. I’ll probably be once more to learn rather more, thanks for that info.

  19. opakowania tekturowe says:

    November 26th, 2011 at 4:12 am (#)

    Great post, I conceive website owners should larn a lot from this web site its rattling user pleasant.

  20. Forex says:

    December 6th, 2011 at 5:49 am (#)

    Put Some Meat on Your Bones! With a little intelligent bodybuilding training, you can build muscle mass and gain weight fast. Whether you choose to follow the

  21. 7 Money Contributes Sites says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 2:06 am (#)

    [...] Money vs Happiness | ScienCentral | Science Videos | Science NewsMay 13, 2009 No money amount would be able to give me what God can give me and It contributes zero to that. [...]

  22. Kendall Mildren says:

    March 22nd, 2012 at 10:25 am (#)

    I enjoy looking through and I conceive this website got some truly utilitarian stuff on it! .

  23. Freddie Livingston says:

    April 17th, 2012 at 8:46 am (#)

    Some truly nice and utilitarian info on this website , besides I conceive the style contains excellent features.

  24. Michael Libsky says:

    June 18th, 2012 at 4:07 pm (#)

    Hey. Do you have facebook? I would like to get to know you more. you possess a great style of writing.

  25. MMO says:

    February 6th, 2013 at 3:14 pm (#)

    I was looking through some of your articles on this internet site and I conceive this web site is real instructive! Continue putting up.

  26. close window says:

    February 6th, 2013 at 6:06 pm (#)

    Hey There. I discovered your blog the usage of msn. That is a very neatly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your useful info. Thank you for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  27. where can i get free money orders says:

    March 6th, 2013 at 2:47 pm (#)

    Aw, this was a very good post. Taking a few minutes
    and actual effort to produce a good article… but what
    can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.

  28. Thermal Cameras says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 3:21 pm (#)

    It’s best to participate in a contest for top-of-the-line blogs on the web. I will advocate this website!

  29. How To Make Some Extra Money From Home says:

    April 9th, 2013 at 10:08 pm (#)

    Hi, I do believe this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it ;)
    I may come back yet again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to
    help others.

  30. beats headphone says:

    June 27th, 2013 at 6:30 pm (#)

    oh!!!

  31. max says:

    July 29th, 2013 at 9:51 pm (#)

    Hey all. I stumbled upon a person’s weblog the usage of msn. That is a actually neatly created article. I’ll be guaranteed to take a note of this are available to continue reading of this tips. Thanks for your post. I most certainly will absolutely recovery.

  32. Monroe Oates says:

    July 31st, 2013 at 11:17 am (#)

    Would anyone who has been a aspect from the program from the beginning mind sending me copies of the prior letters? I’m signed up now but unfortunately did not hear of this until now. Many, many thanks in advance.

  33. marketing with facebook says:

    August 1st, 2013 at 4:08 pm (#)

    hello there and thank you for your information – I’ve certainly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise several technical points using this website, as I experienced to reload the web site lots of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content. Ensure that you update this again very soon.

  34. kensington square floor plan says:

    August 4th, 2013 at 4:26 am (#)

    Thankful for a very incisive piece on this topic which I am really fascinated with. Wonder if there are any revisions soon? I shall put a bookmark here on this awesome webpage for future readings. Kingsford Hillview Peak

  35. Althea Serve says:

    August 4th, 2013 at 10:32 am (#)

    I�m impressed, I have to say. Actually hardly ever do I encounter a weblog that�s each educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you will have hit the nail on the head. Your thought is excellent; the problem is one thing that not sufficient persons are talking intelligently about. I’m very blissful that I stumbled throughout this in my seek for one thing regarding this.

  36. Whitley Hemming says:

    August 4th, 2013 at 1:53 pm (#)

    You should check out a great new ibook about graffiti art. Lots of amazing photos.

  37. Earlie Scullin says:

    August 5th, 2013 at 9:48 am (#)

    In the grand design of things you secure an A just for effort and hard work. Exactly where you lost me personally was first in the details. You know, people say, the devil is in the details… And it could not be more correct in this article. Having said that, let me reveal to you just what did deliver the results. The article (parts of it) is certainly rather engaging and that is possibly the reason why I am taking an effort to comment. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. Next, despite the fact that I can see the leaps in reason you make, I am not necessarily sure of exactly how you appear to connect the points which make the actual final result. For the moment I will, no doubt subscribe to your point however hope in the foreseeable future you actually link your facts much better.

  38. online math courses says:

    August 5th, 2013 at 1:40 pm (#)

    This paragraph concerning how to embed a YouTube video code is truly useful designed for new web visitors. Nice occupation, keep it up.

  39. business mobile apps says:

    August 7th, 2013 at 7:04 am (#)

    My chief is also keen of YouTube humorous video tutorials, he also watch these even in office hehehe.

  40. Daniella Zantow says:

    August 7th, 2013 at 12:14 pm (#)

    Hey I am so excited I found your weblog, I really found you by error, while I was browsing on Bing for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a tremendous post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the fantastic job.

  41. prom dresses for under 200 says:

    August 8th, 2013 at 4:28 am (#)

    Rather than, tiffany jewelry the heart include the smart choice towards your significant other already purchased at good prices, which you might get a hold of high quality, ,tiffany co charm bracelet,game titles and yearning bracelet middle. It will always be the absolute right place to purchase jewelry center from online go shopping together can come up an obvious range of products from listed supplements listing. This can be physically fit for lots of celebrations.

  42. dui checkpoint refusal laws says:

    August 8th, 2013 at 12:48 pm (#)

    But wanna input on few general things, The website design and style is perfect, the articles is really great : D.

  43. Zada Michitsch says:

    August 8th, 2013 at 6:27 pm (#)

    Thanks for the recommendations shared in your blog. One more thing I would like to convey is that weight loss is not exactly about going on a fad diet and trying to lose as much weight as possible in a couple of days. The most effective way in losing weight is by using it gradually and right after some basic tips which can enable you to make the most from the attempt to lose weight. You may know and be following some of these tips, yet reinforcing awareness never damages.

  44. Dreama Chew says:

    August 13th, 2013 at 1:27 am (#)

    It�s onerous to search out knowledgeable folks on this subject, but you sound like you realize what you�re talking about! Thanks

  45. Asuncion Fearing says:

    August 13th, 2013 at 1:56 am (#)

    The subsequent time I learn a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I imply, I do know it was my option to learn, however I truly thought youd have one thing fascinating to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you could possibly repair if you happen to werent too busy in search of attention.

  46. Stacy Drehmer says:

    August 13th, 2013 at 12:10 pm (#)

    There are some interesting points in time on this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There’s some validity however I’ll take maintain opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like extra! Added to FeedBurner as properly

  47. home improvement says:

    May 17th, 2014 at 2:06 am (#)

    home improvement

    Money vs. Happiness | ScienCentral | Science Videos | Science News :: ScienCentral | Science Videos | Science News

  48. Muscle Revolution Pro says:

    July 3rd, 2014 at 5:17 pm (#)

    Proline, a nonessential amino acid, has applications in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
    By far the most productive solution is really a blend of
    nutrition for making muscle and exercise session approaches customized
    to your body kind. So be sure to consume foods high in Essential
    Fatty Acids as well, which include foods like:.

    Have a look at my web site: Muscle Revolution Pro

  49. http://englisphere.blogspot.co.uk says:

    July 11th, 2014 at 2:04 pm (#)

    Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot drop,
    just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    my web-site; Rvtl Anti Aging Cream, http://englisphere.blogspot.co.uk,

  50. g pen Snoop dogg says:

    September 4th, 2014 at 8:31 pm (#)

    I pay a visit every day a few web sites and sites to read content, however this website offers quality based posts.

    my website :: g pen Snoop dogg

  51. Discount True Religion says:

    July 30th, 2015 at 1:10 pm (#)

    You’re just about right but what about the last one you posted not long ago that was slightly different? I believe you were right the first time.

Leave a Response


Archives


Clicky Web Analytics