Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Father-son Team Says Positive Gains Can Be Made In 'Psychological Wealth'

Date:
August 10, 2009
Source:
American Psychological Association
Summary:
A focus on psychological wealth rather than financial wealth can help people get through today's tough times, according to two of the world's leading psychological experts on happiness. More money makes people feel better about their lives, but it won't necessarily improve their quality of life, they say.

A focus on psychological wealth rather than financial wealth can help people get through today's tough times, according to two of the world's leading psychological experts on happiness. More money makes people feel better about their lives, but it won't necessarily improve their quality of life, they say.

Ed Diener, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Robert Biswas-Diener, PhD, of the Centre for Applied Positive Psychology in Milwaukee, presented their findings at the 117th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association on Saturday.

"People should avoid the trap of over-emphasizing financial matters and consider a complete portfolio of resources. This will help them cope when hard times are imminent," said Diener.

Diener also referred to a recent poll conducted by the Gallup Organization that surveyed more than 136,000 people in 132 countries from 2005 to 2006. The poll looked at several economic factors, such as income and the wealth of the respondents' countries, in connection with each person's psychological needs, such as respect, happiness, personal life evaluation and support from family and friends.

The average person in the survey was relatively happy and satisfied with his or her life. But a larger income was more directly related to a stronger sense of happiness than with any other factor. Overall, people who said they had a great life reported higher income, but that larger salary did not mean they felt happier on a day-to-day basis.

Diener said this may surprise some people who have long heard that money can't buy happiness. "Money is an object that many or most people highly desire and pursue during most of their waking hours," said Diener. "It would be surprising if making more money had no influence whatsoever when people are asked to evaluate their lives."

But the survey also showed that a larger income didn't necessarily contribute to a person's day-to-day feelings of happiness, stronger social relationships or feeling of respect. "Essentially, we have two forms of prosperity: economic and psychological," said Diener. "I don't know if one is better than the other. But what we've found is that while money may be able to make people lead more comfortable lives, it won't necessarily contribute to life's pleasant moments that come from engaging with people and activities rather than from material goods and luxuries."

Talking about the recent financial downturn, Biswas-Diener said it's this kind of "psychological wealth" that can help people get through the worst. Some scientifically proven coping methods include learning a new skill, meeting new people, using humor and prayer, and having supportive friends. "Adaptation to both good and bad events is part of our psychological wealth because it helps us to move forward in life," said Biswas-Diener.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Psychological Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Psychological Association. "Father-son Team Says Positive Gains Can Be Made In 'Psychological Wealth'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810025243.htm>.
American Psychological Association. (2009, August 10). Father-son Team Says Positive Gains Can Be Made In 'Psychological Wealth'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810025243.htm
American Psychological Association. "Father-son Team Says Positive Gains Can Be Made In 'Psychological Wealth'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810025243.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins