Money can’t buy happiness, love, and any other intangible thing…right? Well, it depends.
Although money is not the only factor in happiness, a Gallup World Poll suggests that life satisfaction is positively influenced and increases with income.
Being satisfied with your life when you have a large income can make some sense, especially if you have reached your career goals (which might include a certain amount of money).
However, satisfaction is not the only type of happiness, and the poll found that positive feelings or enjoyment of life can increase with income, but there are other factors that can create positive feelings, like enjoying work, feeling respected, having social support and autonomy, according to a Science Daily article.
Life satisfaction is “the philosophical belief that your life is going well,” versus “the day-to-day positive or negative feelings that one experiences,” the article stated.
The full results are featured in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Interestingly enough, the United States had the “highest gross domestic product per capita,” but it still wasn’t the happiest country. It ranked 16 for overall life satisfaction and 26 for positive feelings or enjoyment, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
The poll covers a wide range of countries and people, with more than 136,000 people in 132 countries surveyed, according to www.physorg.com. Also, about 96 percent of the world population was represented.
The focus on money and happiness isn’t new, though happiness usually isn’t clearly defined. A Psychology Today blog article from 2008 states that “income has a positive relationship with happiness (life satisfaction), although it is not a straight line.”
The article also mentioned a wine study, which measured brain activity of participants. The study found that “regions of the brain responsible for the registering of pleasure were more active when the wine was identified as expensive as opposed to inexpensive.” This isn’t so surprising, considering there is such a major focus on money in the mainstream world. People put such an emphasis on the cost of things and materialism.