Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Key to Happiness: Give Away Money

New research reveals that when individuals dole out money for gifts for friends or charitable donations, they get a boost in happiness while those who spend on themselves get no such cheery lift.

Dunn and her colleagues surveyed a nationally representative sample of more than 630 Americans, about evenly split between males and females. Participants indicated their general happiness, annual income and a breakdown of monthly spending, including bills, purchases for themselves and for others, and donations to charity.

Statistical analyses revealed personal spending had no link with a person's happiness, while spending on others and charity was significantly related to a boost in happiness.

"Regardless of how much income each person made," Dunn said, "those who spent money on others reported greater happiness, while those who spent more on themselves did not."

In a separate study of 13 employees at a Boston-based firm, the researchers found that employees who devoted more of their profit-sharing bonus (which ranged from $3,000 to $8,000) to others reported greater overall happiness than those who spent the windfall on their own needs.
And as much as I would like to read the actual study, you need a subscription to do so. Apparently, Science Magazine read the study and decided they would allow their readers the opportunity to increase their happiness by giving their money away to Science.

via LiveScience


Rebelfish said...

Well, it's like that song in the musical Avenue Q: "When you help someone, you can't help helping yourself." I guess that scene had quite a bit of truth in it.

Fat Knowledge said...


I think there is truth in that. I always like the Dalai Lama's quote: "Be selfish, be generous."

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