February 11, 2009

Wise Investments May Lead To Happiness

New research suggests purchasing life experiences rather than material possessions will ultimately lead to greater happiness in the future.

In a study at San Francisco State University, participants were asked to write reflections and answer questions pertaining to their recent purchases. The results of the study showed money spent on experiences lead to happier consumers in the future. In addition, experiences produce more happiness regardless of how much money was spent.

Everyday activities like theatre performances or dinner dates are vital because of the need for social connectedness. This is because they create a feeling of "being alive," researchers say.

"Purchased experiences provide memory capital," Ryan Howell, assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, Calif., was quoted as saying. "We don't tend to get bored of happy memories like we do with a material object."

SOURCE: Presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual meeting on February 7, 2009


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