Money makes you happy -- if you give it away

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New York, Mar 21 (UNI) Who says money cannot buy happiness? It surely can, but only when you spend it on others.

According to research published in the journal Science, people who spend money on friends or family, or give it to charity, are happier than those who spend it on themselves.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School conducted a series of experiments and came to the conclusion that money buys happiness only if squandered on others, and the level of joy also depends on the way it is spent.

''I kept seeing the conclusion being drawn that money can't buy happiness, and that was based on research showing that the correlation between income and happiness is pretty low,'' one of the study authors Elizabeth Dunn said.

''To me, there was a logical error there. Just because money doesn't seem to buy happiness for most people, doesn't necessarily mean that it can't.'' It is the latest in a line of recent studies suggesting that happiness depends on experiences and interactions with others, not our income and possessions.

The researchers confirmed the joys of giving in three separate ways. First, by surveying a national sample of more than 600 Americans, they found that spending more on gifts and charity correlated with greater happiness, whereas spending more money on oneself did not.

Second, by tracking 16 workers before and after they received profit-sharing bonuses, the researchers found that the workers who gave more of the money to others ended up happier than the ones who spent more of it on themselves.

In fact, how the bonus was spent was a better predictor of happiness than the size of the bonus.

The final bit of evidence came from an experiment in which 46 students were given some money to spend by the end of the day. The ones who were instructed to spend the money on others were happier at the end of the day than the ones who were instructed to spend the money on themselves.


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