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Some People Claim That Money Cannot Buy Happiness Essay

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“The Seven Social Sins are:
Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

The Kingdom of Bhutan is pursuing a bold new social experiment. They want to demonstrate that a spartan rural society join the high-tech world without surrendering its soul. [1] Bhutan is an extraordinary place; seemingly untouched through the course of time. Resting in the heart of the Himalayas, it has remained in self-imposed detachment for centuries, apart from the rest of the world. "Since its doors were cautiously opened in 1974, visitors have been mesmerized: the environment is pristine,…show more content…

Our way of life depends on a continuous influx of the very commodities that are most damaging to the environment. This is particularly troubling since nearly every other nation in the world is emulating American consumption patterns. As global population increases and consumption skyrockets, we are rapidly depleting the planet's natural resources, degrading its renewable support systems of water, soil, and air, and producing more waste than the Earth and the atmosphere can absorb. Our hectic work-and-spend way of life also has huge social costs. Every year, millions of families declare personal bankruptcy, and credit card debt reaches new heights. Millions of Americans report feeling exhausted, pressured, and hungry for more balanced lives. They are seeking greater purpose and more free time to spend with family and friends. Evidence tends to say that this is not the life that most of us would dream about. The following statements are a list of facts that support this claim:

•Despite the astounding economic growth between 1958 and 2010, Americans reported feeling significantly less well-off in 2010 than they had many years before. [4]
•Americans reporting that they were "very happy" were no more numerous in 2010 than in 1957. [5]
•Percentage of 18 to 29 year-olds who think they have a very good chance of achieving "the good life": 1978: 41% 2010: 21 % [6]
•Rise in per capita consumption in the U.S. in the last 20 years: 45% [7]

Money Can't Buy Happiness Essay

1163 Words5 Pages

Since man invented money, the question has been asked: Can money buy happiness? Recently, research has given us a much better understanding of the relationship between what we earn and how we feel. Economists have been studying the links between income and happiness across nations, and psychologists have performed innumerable studies to discover our true feelings about money. Studies consistently show that people who agree with statements like “You will buy things just because you want them,” tend to be less satisfied with life, less happy, and more likely to be depressed.

But, just like studies examining the connection between success and happiness, many of the findings are correlational. As a result we can’t say for sure that…show more content…

Then, after about a week, the same participants were given back their own descriptions of their purchases and asked to reflect on it. Again, they were asked to report on their feelings in the moment.

Comparing these two groups provided a way of comparing how participants felt about two different types of purchases. The results showed that participants felt better when they were contemplating their experiential purchases than their material purchases.

Thinking about experience

As a result of this experiment, Van Boven & Gilovich predicted that people spend more time overall contemplating their experiential rather than material purchases. To test this out they asked participants to think about experiential and material purchases they were particularly happy with. Then they were asked which they thought about more often. The results clearly showed it was the experiential purchases people thought about more often (83%).

Why do experiences fare better than possessions?

It seems, then, that at some level we understand that our experiential purchases give us more pleasure than our material purchases. But why is that? Van Boven (2005) suggests three reasons:

1. Experiences improve with time (possessions don’t).
The reason why experiences improve with time may be because it is possible to think about experiences in a more abstract manner than possessions. For example if you think back to a fantastic summer from your youth, you might

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