Despite popular assertions to the contrary, science tells us that money can buy happiness.
Recent research has begun to distinguish two aspects of subjective well-being. Emotional well-being refers to the emotional quality of an individual`s everyday experience - the frequency and intensity of experiences of joy, stress, sadness, anger, and affection that make one`s life pleasant or unpleasant. Life evaluation refers to the thoughts that people have about their life when they think about it. We raise the question of whether money buys happiness, separately for these two aspects of well-being. We report an analysis of more than 450,000 responses to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a daily survey of 1,000 US residents conducted by the Gallup Organization.
But even if you`re fortunate enough to have a good income, how you spend your money has a strong influence on how happy – or unhappy – it will make you. And, again, there`s science behind this.
Most people don`t know the basic scientific facts about happiness - about what brings it and what sustains it - and so they don`t know how to use their money to acquire it. It is not surprising when wealthy people who know nothing about wine end up with cellars that aren`t that much better stocked than their neighbors`, and it should not be surprising when wealthy people who know nothing about happiness end up with lives that aren`t that much happier than anyone else`s. Money is an opportunity for happiness.