Be Happier: Spend More Money on Others

Posted on February 14, 2014

If you want to feel happier - and who doesn't - what should you do with that $20 you have in your pocket?

The evidence is clear, according to a new research paper: You should use it to help someone in need.

Psychologists Elizabeth Dunn and Lara Aknin, along with Michael Norton of Harvard Business School, report that the benefits of helping others "are evident in givers old and young in countries around the world, and extend to not only subjective well-being, but also objective health."

Writing in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science, they demonstrate this counter-intuitive thesis by describing a series of studies, many of which they conducted themselves.

The researchers begin by summarizing their own 2008 study, in which participants were given either $5 or $20 to spend by the end of the day. Half were instructed to buy themselves something; the others used it help out somebody else.

"That evening, people who had been assigned to spend the money on someone else reported happier moods over the course of the day than did those people assigned to spend the money on themselves," they report.

Click on the link to read the full article


Category(s):Happiness

Source material from Pacific Standard


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