Can money buy happiness? A new study shows it can, up to a point. A six-month experiment looks at the effects of giving 200 people a one-time payment of $10-thousand. Those who got the money reported feeling happier than the control group who didn’t, suggesting money really can buy happiness, at least for six months among households making up to $123-thousand a year.
So how did the experiment work?
- The money came from two anonymous donors and was distributed on PayPal through a partnership with the organization TED.
- Those who got the money were required to spend all of it within three months.
- Participants came from three low-income countries — Brazil, Indonesia and Kenya — and four high-income countries: Australia, Canada, the U.K, and the U.S.
- Recipients recorded how happy they felt on a monthly basis, and so did the control group of 100 unlucky folks who didn’t get any money.
- After three months of spending, the group who got the $10-thousand reported higher levels of happiness than those who didn’t get the money. And after another three months had passed, the recipients still reported higher levels of happiness than when the experiment started.
- But not everyone was happier. Those with incomes above $123-thousand didn’t report improvements in their happiness.
- Folks from the low-income countries got three times as much happiness as those from high-income countries and those earning $10-thousand a year gained twice as much happiness as those making $100-thousand a year.
- Participants did record what they spent their money on, but researchers are still evaluating the data to see if any kinds of purchases led to more happiness.
Source: NBC News