Friday, December 09, 2022

How Happy Can a Windfall Make You?

A new study finds that receiving an unexpected cash gift can improve well-being, but only up to a point

By Susan Pinker. Excerpts:

"The researchers found that, as might be expected, a big windfall made people happier than the drip-drip-drip of repeated $25 gifts. But the money didn’t have the same effect on everyone. “The gains were greatest for recipients who had the least,” the paper found. People in lower-income countries who received $10,000 gained three times more happiness, based on the self-reported surveys, than those in higher-income countries. For recipients whose annual income was $100,000 or above, the gain in happiness was diminished.  

Comparing participants in the same country, those who made $10,000 a year gained twice as much happiness from the windfall as those making $100,000 a year. “This is consistent with a mountain of research showing that the more we have of something, the less we feel about increases. Those with lower income get a better boost,” said Prof. Dunn."

Related posts: 

Happiness Is Not What We Think It Is (2022)

Psychologists uncover new details about how money influences the frequency and intensity of happiness.  (2021)

More On The Economics Of Gift Giving. (2018)

What Brings More Happiness, More Time Or More Money? (2017, this study found that people that chose more free time over more money tended to be happier) 

Do income and happiness tend to go together? Yes, both within and across countries . (2017)

Science proves it: Money really can buy happiness . (2017)

Dagwood Bumpstead Explains The Hedonic Treadmill  (2015)

Does Money Buy Happiness? (2011)

Does Wealth Make Us Happier? (2010, maybe wealth buys freedom that makes us happier)

Does Or Can Money Buy Happiness?  (2008)

Interesting Book: Stumbling on Happiness  (2007)

Does Money Make You Mean?  (2007)

Related articles:

Money buys happiness after all  (By William Easterly and Laura Freschi, 2011)

The happiness wars (From The Lancet, 2011)