Expectations and happiness

Expectations and happiness

The age-old assumption that when it comes to money, more equals better, is proving to be just that: an assumption.

Turns out that once people have their basic needs covered, more money can buy more things – luxuries that have morphed into essentials – but not more satisfaction.

An explosion in happiness research has consistently shown for some time now that the link between rising income and rising well-being has broken down. In a host of large-scale, global studies that ask hundreds of thousands of people to assess their lives, happiness rankings haven’t budged in three decades.

Psychologists and social scientists have studied the subject for years, of course, but only in the past decade or so have some economists, only some, begun to sit up and take notice. Was there something useful in this for them?

Leading British economist Richard Layard is among a fast-proliferating group that thinks there is. How else to understand the “paradox at the heart of our lives?” he asks. We have more money, more food, nicer clothes, faster cars, bigger houses, more gadgets, more holidays and, above all, better health, but “as Western societies have got richer, their people have become no happier.”

…to read more on this happiness research – click here.