Philosophers Changing Stance On Money and Happiness

Rhia Capatano, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Toronto, has been researching the correlations between money and happiness. From what she’s learned, it’s safe to say that philosophers are changing the long-held stance on what money can and cannot buy. In other words, money and happiness are more interconnected than we like to admit.

Capatano carried out three studies to find out if money can, indeed, make a person happy. What she found out was that when people have more money, they don’t need as much meaning in their lives in order to be happy.

Capatano studied actual and subjective income levels in diverse worldwide populations. She found that the meaning and happiness link decreases when a person has more financial resources. She also found that, regarding happiness, meaning does not mean as much for a person with more financial resources.

Capatano also found that people often experience either meaning or happiness, but conversely. In other words, the kinds of activities that make a lot of people happy bring them no meaning.

But what does this mean when we talk about money and happiness?

Other studies have shown that having a sense of meaning reduces depression. This does not necessarily mean that meaning increases happiness, but it does mean that it can lower happiness’s opposite emotion. Meaningfulness has also been shown to be a crucial part of the human experience.

Perhaps it’s that people with more money find more leisure time, and that leisure time can make them happy. After all, if you can afford to hire someone to detail your car or clean your house, that’s a lot of extra hours that you can spend on yourself. Rather than clean, you could surf, hike, crochet—name any activity that you enjoy. Those extra chore hours add up when you have to do everything yourself.

Can money buy happiness?

It’s probably not correct to say that people with more money have less meaning in their lives. It’s also probably not correct to say that having more money brings you less meaning. But it sure does seem like the key takeaway is this:

People who have more money might be happier.

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Your Gin & Tonic Could Be So Much Better Than It Is

Becoming a Mom Has Reshaped Life For Katy Perry