Some Material Goods *Can* Make You Happier. But Which Ones?
The scientific study of happiness has for years recommended that people use their money to purchase experiences--dinner with friends or a vacation with a loved one--rather than material goods.
What's the Latest?
The scientific study of happiness has for years recommended that people use their money to purchase experiences--dinner with friends or a vacation with a loved one--rather than material goods. The pleasure we gain from doing something, studies have shown, is greater and longer lasting than the pleasure we get from having something. But one class of material goods can provide happiness: those that facilitate having experiences, such as electronics, a musical instrument, and sporting gear. Psychologists Darwin A. Guevarra and Ryan T. Howell argue that past studies have ignored this class of material good.
Wellness expert Dr. Andrew Weil explains in his Big Think Mentor interview how the act of doing is so essential to our wellbeing:
What's the Big Idea?
Experiences are thought to be more satisfying than objects because they help fulfill deep psychological needs like autonomy, competence, and relatedness. "Talking to friends, mastering a skill, expressing oneself through art or writing—all of these provide a measure of fulfillment that merely owning a thing cannot. Experiential goods fit in under this framework because they likewise can satisfy those same psychological needs." A musical instrument makes people happiest because it provides a skill to learn, allows for self-expression, and encourages creative collaboration with others.
Read more at the Atlantic
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
Quoth the parrot — "Nevermore."
- Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1949) is considered one of America's great writers.
- Poe penned his most famous poem, The Raven, in his 30s.
- Originally, the poem's feathered subject was a bit flamboyant.
Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.
- An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
- Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
- Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.