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Study: Money-happiness link is complex
AP on Yahoo ^ | 11/26/06 | Malcolm Ritter - ap

Posted on 11/26/2006 7:08:37 PM PST by NormsRevenge

NEW YORK - Does money buy happiness? It's sometimes said that scientists have found no relationship between money and happiness, but that's a myth, says University of Illinois psychologist Ed Diener.

The connection is complex, he says. But in fact, very rich people rate substantially higher in satisfaction with life than very poor people do, even within wealthy nations, he says.

"There is overwhelming evidence that money buys happiness," said economist Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick in England. The main debate, he said, is how strong the effect is.

Oswald recently reported a study of Britons who won between $2,000 and $250,000 in a lottery. As a group, they showed a boost in happiness averaging a bit more than 1 point on a 36-point scale when surveyed two years after their win, compared to their levels two years before they won.

Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel-Prize winner and Princeton economist, and colleagues recently declared that the notion that making a lot of money will produce good overall mood is "mostly illusory."

They noted that in one study, people with household incomes of $90,000 or more were only slightly more likely to call themselves "very happy" overall than were people from households making $50,000 to $89,999. The rates were 43 percent versus 42 percent, respectively. (Members of the high-income group were almost twice as likely to call themselves "very happy" as people from households with incomes below $20,000.)

But other studies, rather than asking for a summary estimate of happiness, follow people through the day and repeatedly record their feelings. These studies show less effect of income on happiness, Kahneman and colleagues said.

There is still another twist to the money-happiness story. Even though people who make $150,000 are considerably happier than those who make $40,000, it's not clear why, says psychologist Richard E. Lucas of Michigan State University.

Does money make you happier? Or does being happier in the first place allow you to earn more money later, maybe by way of greater creativity or energy? Or does some other factor produce both money and happiness? There's evidence for all three interpretations, Lucas says.

In any case, researchers say any effect of money on happiness is smaller than most daydreamers assume.

"People exaggerate how much happiness is bought by an extra few thousand," Oswald said. "The quality of relationships has a far bigger effect than quite large rises in salary.... It's much better advice, if you're looking for happiness in life, to try to find the right husband or wife rather than trying to double your salary."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: complex; happiness; money; study
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1 posted on 11/26/2006 7:08:37 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Honestly, it is usually much harder to find the right person and to be that right person for them.

That said, the very best investment is in such a relationship. Money can always be had if you are willing to work.


2 posted on 11/26/2006 7:15:19 PM PST by ConservativeMind
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To: NormsRevenge

Happiness measurement unit is called a dollar. I've been low on the dollar scale, and have been higher - and higher was certainly happier.


3 posted on 11/26/2006 7:15:22 PM PST by GSlob
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To: NormsRevenge

Right now, I don't anyone anything. And I'm content with that. But if I made a lot of money and I owed more than I make, I'd be pretty unpappy.


4 posted on 11/26/2006 7:17:15 PM PST by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
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To: NormsRevenge
Me, me, me! It's all about me. What do I want, how can I get it as quickly and easily as possible? More, more, more! I want more. I won't be happy until I have it all.

Now that my rant is over...

Money is good, but it isn't the be-all and end-all. People need to sort this out for themselves.

5 posted on 11/26/2006 7:17:26 PM PST by AntiKev (If we blindly follow our own religions, we become no better than our enemies.)
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To: BradyLS

Pretty unHappy, too.


6 posted on 11/26/2006 7:18:10 PM PST by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
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To: NormsRevenge

Duh. Who needs a "scientific study"? People who can pay their mortgage (or rent) and still have money left over for food and a car (or whatever) are always going to be happier than people who can't.
Someone who makes $500,000/yr. and is hopelessly in debt isn't going to be as happy as someone who makes $40,000/yr. and has learned to live on it.


7 posted on 11/26/2006 7:18:30 PM PST by speekinout
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To: NormsRevenge
"It's much better advice, if you're looking for happiness in life, to try to find the right husband or wife rather than trying to double your salary."

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

8 posted on 11/26/2006 7:21:14 PM PST by digger48
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To: NormsRevenge

I'd be pretty happy if I got a ton of funding to conduct a stupid study like this.


9 posted on 11/26/2006 7:22:02 PM PST by Cementjungle
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To: NormsRevenge

I have been both. What money buys you is peace of mind that you won't go homeless or starve any time soon. This does wonders to your stress level. If also gives you choices. If a boss annoys you and you have a bit of money in the bank and have kept up with your marketable skills, you can go find another job and pull yourself out of a bad situation instead of staying miserable at your job.


10 posted on 11/26/2006 7:22:12 PM PST by winner3000
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To: digger48

"husband or wife"
and, not or in that case


11 posted on 11/26/2006 7:23:35 PM PST by dudewheresmytank (liberalism is not a crime, it's a mental illness)
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To: digger48

Being a two time gigolo still won't make you POTUS though.


12 posted on 11/26/2006 7:24:18 PM PST by Paladin2 (Islam is the religion of violins, NOT peas.)
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To: speekinout

exactly! who needs a study?!

isn't it just common sense that someone who can afford to take a sick day when they have the flu will be happier than someone who has to drag themselves into work because they can't afford to lose the money?

isn't someone who knows that they can pay for their child to have decent medical help happier than one who can't?

I know most would be happier if they could afford:

college education for kids, opposed to not.
decent house, opposed to not.
heat, opposed to not.
a car that doesn't leave you stranded, opposed to not.
the knowledge that you can retire when the time comes and not have to choose between food or meds.

money buys alot of happiness and alot of piece of mind. It reduces your stress and allows a person to take care of themselves in a way that most can't.

I always look to the long time rich and famous....isn't it funny how most of them live to be in their 90's and playing golf right up to the end??

Money does buy happiness....what it CAN'T buy is LOVE.


13 posted on 11/26/2006 7:27:05 PM PST by annelizly
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To: NormsRevenge

btt


14 posted on 11/26/2006 7:27:16 PM PST by Ciexyz (Satisfied owner of a 2007 Toyota Corolla.)
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To: NormsRevenge
I think they have the argument in reverse. People who are happy tend to be more successful and thus tend to make more money. On the other hand, those who are unhappy tend to not be very successful in life.

A positive attitude is the key to success. Negativity, pessimism, cynicism and envy will keep you down.

15 posted on 11/26/2006 7:29:02 PM PST by SamAdams76 (Fish of an uncertain nature)
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To: GSlob; NormsRevenge

"Money doesn't always bring happiness. People with ten million dollars are no happier than people with nine million dollars."
-- Hobart Brown.


16 posted on 11/26/2006 7:29:03 PM PST by LucyT ( Muslims have an obligation to kill Americans. -- Osama bin Laden)
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To: LucyT

Depends. When one's heart transplant is priced at 9.5 million, the happiness differential suddenly becomes more noticeable.


17 posted on 11/26/2006 7:32:36 PM PST by GSlob
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To: annelizly
Money does buy happiness....what it CAN'T buy is LOVE.

Oh, but it does buy lovin'... :P

18 posted on 11/26/2006 7:37:09 PM PST by Map Kernow ("I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing" ---Thomas Jefferson)
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To: devolve; ntnychik; PhilDragoo; NormsRevenge

Money does not 'buy happiness'. Love and family come first. What money does is give you fewer worries and more peace of mind.

That can certainly help you be happier but wealth in itself does not bring happiness.


19 posted on 11/26/2006 7:38:38 PM PST by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: AntiKev

You know, I think back on some of my happier memories, and the least of which wasn't driving from California to Virginia, sleeping in a tent or in the back seat of my car, cooking whatever was on sale in the grocery store by a campfire along the way, going wherever the wind blew me... A cheap hotel room along the way here or there to shower. Pulling up next to the big rigs in my little Jetta and calling it a night, the desert stars twinkling over the dash.

Life is what you make of it, and happiness is a choice.

Those who are happiest with money use it to buy freedom. Those who aren't all too often imprison themselves with it.

That said, finding the right gal that fits perfectly under your arm and smiles the whole way doesn't hurt, either.


20 posted on 11/26/2006 7:41:22 PM PST by CheyennePress
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To: SamAdams76
A positive attitude is the key to success. Negativity, pessimism, cynicism and envy will keep you down.

Yep...

21 posted on 11/26/2006 7:43:14 PM PST by tubebender (Growing old is mandatory...Growing up is optional)
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To: LucyT

Is this the Hobart Brown I know?


22 posted on 11/26/2006 7:45:42 PM PST by tubebender (Growing old is mandatory...Growing up is optional)
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To: potlatch


Money can't buy Paul McCartney a sane wife


23 posted on 11/26/2006 7:46:20 PM PST by devolve ( .................always shop, invest, & hire wisely)
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To: annelizly
The study wasn't talking about people in real poverty - it said

They noted that in one study, people with household incomes of $90,000 or more were only slightly more likely to call themselves "very happy" overall than were people from households making $50,000 to $89,999.

In most areas of the country, people making $50,000 or more can pay all of their bills, unless they are being totally unrealistic about what they can afford.

Money doesn't buy happiness - learning to live within your means does.

24 posted on 11/26/2006 7:47:26 PM PST by speekinout
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To: devolve
Money can't buy Paul McCartney a sane wife

Funny! I did not keep up with all of that so I don't know the details. Paul might be a little 'iffy' too, ya think?

25 posted on 11/26/2006 7:49:57 PM PST by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: tubebender
Is this the Hobart Brown I know?

Dunno, I read the quote somewhere and thought it was funny.

26 posted on 11/26/2006 7:51:06 PM PST by LucyT ( Muslims have an obligation to kill Americans. -- Osama bin Laden)
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To: NormsRevenge

The relationship is surely a complex one. However, I think there's somekind of treshold of wealth in which you'll be miserable if you are below it. Poverty, regardless how you define it, comes to mind.


27 posted on 11/26/2006 7:53:41 PM PST by paudio ('Conservative' is a term with multiple meanings.)
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To: LucyT
This is the Hobart Brown I know and the Hobart Brown my son visited in a convalescent home yesterday where he is recovering from a broken hip.

http://ebeltz.net/hobart/

For more H Brown google for him
28 posted on 11/26/2006 7:57:16 PM PST by tubebender (Growing old is mandatory...Growing up is optional)
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To: NormsRevenge

I have an older brother who has a lot of money, by a "lot" I mean he has a lot more than I do. I retired at age 54 and am debt free, I have anything I want or need.

My brother is the penny pinchingest person I've ever known. I'm fond of telling him that I have more money than he does. It must be true because I have all I need and he will never have enough.


29 posted on 11/26/2006 7:58:32 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: potlatch


He kind of rushed into it fast after his wife's death

Donald Trump could give him some pointers on pre-screening and legal problems

Over a billion dollars puts a huge target on you




30 posted on 11/26/2006 8:00:11 PM PST by devolve ( .................always shop, invest, & hire wisely)
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To: LucyT

Here ya go... http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Hobart_Brown


31 posted on 11/26/2006 8:01:33 PM PST by tubebender (Growing old is mandatory...Growing up is optional)
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To: annelizly
Money CAN buy love. When I returned from deployment, I paid $65US for Cayanne. She loves me, as long as I keep her in food and litter, and let her claw the drapes. And then came Spook. She cost me $128US in vet bills. And about $30US/month in food, litter, and drapes. And then came the rescue kittie. He's not paid for, yet. So far I've spent $110US cash, 1/2 pint of blood, one shirt, a blanket, and some drapes. And we're not finished...

Drapes are over-rated, except for cat toys.

And when I walk into the house today, everybody loves me and wants to eat, and wants new drapes.

Life is good. It's just like being married, except for the honey-do list.

/johnny

32 posted on 11/26/2006 8:04:01 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (They want to die in jihad. I'm here to help, in whatever small way I can. Generally by cooking...)
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To: tubebender

Awww, sorry to hear about the broken hip; give him a hug for me, won't you. Here's something from google:

Hobart Brown

A resident of the Victorian village of Ferndale, California, Hobart Brown is known for his works of art made from wire coat hangers and fencing. In 1969, Brown became a local celebrity when he initiated the annual Kinetic Sculpture Race.

The inspiration for the race came when Brown set out to repair his son's tricycle with a welding iron and ended up creating a whimsical, six-foot construction with five wheels, two seats, and a roof. The first Kinetic Sculpture Race consisted of five human-powered works of art that traveled a one-block course in Ferndale on Memorial Day in 1969.

Often credited with the inspirational quote "Having more money does not insure happiness; people with ten million dollars are no happier than people with nine million dollars",

Hobart Brown was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 by Richard Langfort, a professor of psychology in a nearby college.

Langfort, an expert on youth suicide, saw the Brown's sculpture race as a means of giving isolated children a sense of hope. It perhaps goes without saying that Brown did not win.


33 posted on 11/26/2006 8:04:17 PM PST by LucyT ( Muslims have an obligation to kill Americans. -- Osama bin Laden)
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To: devolve

Well sure all that money is a big draw for the gold diggers but he must have been looking for someone so you can't always fault the person he settled on.

But - I don't know the details. I imagine anyone he had married would be thought to be 'after his money'.


34 posted on 11/26/2006 8:05:21 PM PST by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: Graybeard58
I have all I need and he will never have enough.

That's the only relationship between money and happiness that I know about. :-)

35 posted on 11/26/2006 8:07:01 PM PST by speekinout
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To: Graybeard58
I've been wealthy, and I've been broke. I prefer wealthy. But there is one thing I've never had....

I've either had the time, or the money. Never, have I had both, together.

I've got a zillion projects I want to work on. They take time AND money. I've always had time OR money.

This time, my target is the time AND the money to make some of those projects happen. And who knows, I might get some time AND money if they work out.

/johnny

36 posted on 11/26/2006 8:08:48 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (They want to die in jihad. I'm here to help, in whatever small way I can. Generally by cooking...)
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To: potlatch; devolve

He could have avoided a lot of heartburn with a prenup.


37 posted on 11/26/2006 8:10:34 PM PST by LucyT ( Muslims have an obligation to kill Americans. -- Osama bin Laden)
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To: CheyennePress
That said, finding the right gal that fits perfectly under your arm and smiles the whole way doesn't hurt, either.

True, but I think if any one thing can make you happy, you aren't a whole person. It's a combination of things that make life worth living. It's not big things either, the little things all add up. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts and such.

P.S.: Only smiling might be okay for you, but mine's a great conversationalist, and she listens to me too!

38 posted on 11/26/2006 8:12:22 PM PST by AntiKev (If we blindly follow our own religions, we become no better than our enemies.)
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To: LucyT; devolve

Yes, that is dumb of any very wealthy person not to do that. As I wrote, I didn't keep up with the details of their saga.


39 posted on 11/26/2006 8:14:50 PM PST by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: NormsRevenge

Like Andy Warhol says, "Success is being able to pay your bills". What a great saying that is, it`s so freggin` true at least when it comes to finances.


40 posted on 11/26/2006 8:20:00 PM PST by Screamname (Tagline: (optional, printed after your name on post):)
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To: NormsRevenge

Seems like splitting hairs to me. Being rich is better than being poor, in general, but there's more to it than that.


41 posted on 11/26/2006 8:21:51 PM PST by ozzymandus
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To: winner3000

That's called "screw you" money. It's a good thing to have.


42 posted on 11/26/2006 8:22:45 PM PST by ozzymandus
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To: devolve

He ain`t going to have any money after her. I heard he is freggin` drinking his arse off now, hitting bars like they are going out of style. I would too with that hellion on one leg taking me up the river. What an ass not getting her to sign a pre-nup. She`s going to take half his loot and the lawyers are going to take the rest.


43 posted on 11/26/2006 8:24:16 PM PST by Screamname (Tagline: (optional, printed after your name on post):)
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To: NormsRevenge

If my student loan disappeared I'd be pretty darn happy.


44 posted on 11/26/2006 8:25:14 PM PST by A_perfect_lady
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To: potlatch


45 posted on 11/26/2006 8:26:49 PM PST by devolve ( .................always shop, invest, & hire wisely)
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To: digger48
Find the right wife to be a Poodleboy to......


46 posted on 11/26/2006 8:28:15 PM PST by Screamname (Tagline: (optional, printed after your name on post):)
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To: devolve

That is really beautiful devolve! My speakers are booming!!


47 posted on 11/26/2006 8:33:39 PM PST by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: A_perfect_lady

I`m not sure but I think you can rid yourself of a student loan by claiming bankruptcy if you are poor enough, or can prove undue hardship such as unemployment, or eviction ect ect. I freggin` hate hearing about people stuck with these enormous debts from going to school because these schools absolutely rip off the students, and you get these absolute liberal a-hole Professors as teachers, it`s a freggin` joke today. What is it now, $60 grand a semester? $1000 a credit? These schools are a complete racket.


48 posted on 11/26/2006 8:36:40 PM PST by Screamname (Tagline: (optional, printed after your name on post):)
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To: NormsRevenge
I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. -- Mae West
49 posted on 11/26/2006 8:42:02 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: potlatch


50 posted on 11/26/2006 8:48:11 PM PST by devolve ( .................always shop, invest, & hire wisely)
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