Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Money only makes you happy if it makes you richer than your neighbors

Date:
March 22, 2010
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
Money only makes people happier if it improves their social rank, according to new research. The researchers found that simply being highly paid wasn't enough -- to be happy, people must perceive themselves as being more highly paid than their friends and work colleagues.

A study by researchers at the University of Warwick and Cardiff University has found that money only makes people happier if it improves their social rank. The researchers found that simply being highly paid wasn't enough -- to be happy, people must perceive themselves as being more highly paid than their friends and work colleagues.

The researchers were seeking to explain why people in rich nations have not become any happier on average over the last 40 years even though economic growth has led to substantial increases in average incomes.

Lead researcher on the paper Chris Boyce from the University of Warwick's Department of Psychology said: "Our study found that the ranked position of an individual's income best predicted general life satisfaction, while the actual amount of income and the average income of others appear to have no significant effect. Earning a million pounds a year appears to be not enough to make you happy if you know your friends all earn 2 million a year."

The study entitled "Money and Happiness: Rank of Income, Not Income, Affects Life Satisfaction" will be published in the journal Psychological Science. The researchers looked at data on earnings and life satisfaction from seven years of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), which is a representative longitudinal sample of British households.

First they examined how life satisfaction was related to how much money each person earned. They found however that satisfaction was much more strongly related to the ranked position of the person's income (compared to people of the same gender, age, level of education, or from the same geographical area).

The results explain why making everybody in society richer will not necessarily increase overall happiness -- because it is only having a higher income than other people that matters.

The three authors of the paper were Chris Boyce, Gordon Brown (both of the University of Warwick's Department of Psychology), and Simon Moore of Cardiff University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. J. Boyce, G. D.A. Brown, S. C. Moore. Money and Happiness: Rank of Income, Not Income, Affects Life Satisfaction. Psychological Science, 2010; DOI: 10.1177/0956797610362671

Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Money only makes you happy if it makes you richer than your neighbors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322092057.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2010, March 22). Money only makes you happy if it makes you richer than your neighbors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322092057.htm
University of Warwick. "Money only makes you happy if it makes you richer than your neighbors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322092057.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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