TED Conversations

Mohammad Mohammadipour

This conversation is closed.

Can Money Buy Happiness?

Maybe more cash does make people happier. Especially salient are analyses done by University of Pennsylvania economists Daniel Sacks, Betsey Stevenson, and Justin Wolfers. In their updated 2010 study, “Subjective Well-Being, Income, Economic Development and Growth,” the three compare subjective well-being survey data from 140 countries with those countries' income and economic growth rates. The researchers find that within individual countries richer people are happier than poorer; people in richer countries are happier than people in poorer countries; and over time increased economic growth leads to increased happiness. “These results together suggest that measured subjective well-being grows hand in hand with material living standards,” they conclude..

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 16 2013: An obvious (not obvious?) thing about happiness is that it comes from being interested in things.

    or the corollary unhappiness comes from a lack of interest.

    You might say the world suffers from a lack of interest and too much wanting to be interesting.

    Look at people who are happy and see if there is correlation to interest?
    • thumb
      Feb 16 2013: I agree Pat!
      I observe that my curiosity, exploration and interest with the life adventure supports more of a feeling of happiness/contentment, just as the feeling of happiness/content supports more curiosity, exploration and interest.....another enjoyable cycle:>)
    • thumb
      Feb 16 2013: You added to your comment Pat, and your addition reminds me of something I saw as a teenager and embraced:

      Interested = Interesting
      Interesting = Interested

      Perhaps people strive to be interesting without being genuinely interested?
      • thumb
        Feb 17 2013: Exactly, it is not a small point, which can change the direction of a life in a big way. Do you want to be cause or effect.

        With the media and the government incessantly spewing you are the effect.
        The question is can one control his disinterest and be interested in something. As you say it makes all the difference.
        • thumb
          Feb 17 2013: I want to be BOTH cause and effect Pat.....I want it all...LOL:>)
          AND.....I KNOW if I WANT it, I need to CREATE it:>)

          I wholeheartedly agree....it is NOT a small point, and can actually form a foundation which contributes to the orchestration of our life experience!

          I observe people seeking happiness/contentment OUTSIDE themselves....with more money and the things money will buy....with relationships.....etc.

          YES, we CAN absolutely control our interest/disinterest, and I know you know that. It is a choice. People often give up their choice to create their life experience.

          There is a great book I read 30+ years ago..."Pulling your own Strings" by Wayne Dyer.
          It very simply reinforces the idea that we can make choices regarding how we think and feel. Although this message has been given to us throughout history by teachers, gurus, psychologists, etc., apparently we (humans) need constant reminders!
      • thumb
        Feb 17 2013: What happens is that people become addicted to attention or admiration, I think more addictive than drugs.

        You see this endlessly with celebrities with all of their shenanigans they are really saying look at me. There was a move called spinal tap that was a parody of rock stars who functioned like this, very funny. The problem is that when you become interesting you become effect. Being effect is also addictive, people choose to be the effect of drugs, alcohol, TED, etc.

        As you know life is lived at cause.
        • thumb
          Feb 17 2013: I agree Pat, that some folks draw attention to themselves for the reason you suggest.

          Just as people can be the effect of drugs and alcohol, we can also be the effect of more beneficial "addictions", like TED....can we not? I, for example, am addicted to gardens...I am the cause and effect of gardens.....not so bad is it??? LOL!

          I think/feel life is lived at BOTH cause and effect levels:>)
      • thumb
        Feb 17 2013: I think it depends why, if you want to have a show garden to attract attention, if you are genuinely interested in gardening then that would be from a more cause point of view.

        Of course you have to be both cause and effect however the difference is in the reason behind the cause and effect.
        • thumb
          Feb 17 2013: Agree! Why we do something is as important, or maybe sometimes more important, than the action.

          So, with the question....can money buy happiness....the answers may reflect one's intent. If a person truly thinks/feels that money will buy happiness....it may do that.

          However, the "catch" to that, is if people "expect" money to buy happiness, s/he may be very disappointed, and unhappy with the effect?
      • thumb
        Feb 17 2013: Well the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

        I would urge anyone who is interested (see what I did there?) to look at people who they consider to be happy and look at whether they are interesting or are interested and look for a correlation.
        • thumb
          Feb 18 2013: Yes Pat, I notice what you did....you are very clever and interesting:>)

          I agree that observing people and behaviors, and using that information to learn, is a GREAT way to explore and expand our heart and mind:>)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.