Here are some highlights he found out from his study among 9,000 families in Britain throughout a ten-year period.
A small amount of money is not going to solve a major health problem or solve a major psychological problem, but will somehow improve one’s psychological well-being. This assumption was based on the findings they gathered throughout the decade from a number of people that had windfall of cash. His team used this to measure individuals' psychological health using standard strain indicators to gauge their levels of happiness.
The survey also suggested that women tended to be happier than men and that happiness followed a U-shaped pattern in our lives. From birth, happiness slopes downwards to a lowest point in our 30s, then things start to improve from our forties and continue to recover and increasing steadily up to retirement.
While it was evident in the study that money in a way could provide happiness, Oswald was keen to stress that money was not the only factor affecting good mental health or it was necessarily the easiest route to contentment.
Glenn Firebaugh, a sociological researcher at Pennsylvania State University, found similar findings and elaborated in his work that money through income was important in determining happiness. However, physical health was the best single predictor of happiness, followed by income, education, and marital status. His team also found a relative income effect, and that is, the richer you are relative to your age peers, the happier you will tend to be.
Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project has a different point of view. “The secret to using money to buy happiness,” she declares, “is to spend money in ways that support your happiness goals.” “There are ways to spend money that are likely to help give you enduring happiness,” she explains further.
I know we have been told differently but these views and findings will certainly make us think twice.
I am not trying to say only the rich are happy or you can only be happy if you have tons of money. Many people are happy. But, if you have lots of bucks, it’s likely that you’re going to be even happier. Why? Because money breeds optimistic attitude and optimism is a major factor in happiness.
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