Can money buy happiness? A question you and I have heard since childhood. While many have contrasting opinions about it, there has been a more factual and philosophical approach to this question by social scientists, economists, and philosophers all this while as well. For an average member of the United States, our answer would be more or less leaning towards a yes. But here’s what the scientists are saying about it now.
Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Kahneman, known as two valued and noteworthy researchers in the United States, made it to a final conclusion that people are generally happier with cash in their pockets and their digital accounts full, according to a published study in the National Academy of Sciences Proceedings this month. This study pans out to the conclusion that the level of an individual’s joy can ultimately triple in size with a pay grade of $75,000 or above.
As a matter of fact, this amount was mentioned by the nobel-prize winning psychologist and economist, Kahneman, in a study published back in 2010, with the exact same conclusion that “log income is in direct proportionality with a human being’s increasing emotional well-being, although, the progress ends at $75,000 annual pay”.
Fast forward to the year 2021, another noteworthy researcher of The USA, Killingsworth, who is also a Wharton School from University of Pennsylvania senior research fellow, further pans out this conclusion and breaks the barriers of the $75,000 limit while including that a human’s well-being can continue to increase till the log income of $200,000 or above.
Killingsworth and Kahneman both seem to be on the same page with their recent happiness index research as they named their study about whether money brings happiness or not an adversarial collaboration, where they bounced off theories against each other’s research and ideas to come to a final conclusion involving an arbiter. The recent research of 2021 is completed keeping inflation in mind, according to Kahneman and Killingsworth.
The study includes data extracted from surveying 33,391 United States adults between the age of 18-65 who hold employment and have a yearly income of $10,000 or above. On the other hand, for adults earning more than $500,000, the collected data lacked substance.
There were two enormous conclusions wrapped up by the study, a) happiness level is directly proportional to increasing household income, irrespective of how high the income is, which directly translates to a major chunk of people being found to be happy with pockets full of cash and accounts full of money. B) there is also a big unhappy minority on the side found during the research, panned out to be approximately 20% of the research members, who recorded diminishing levels of happiness with increasing household income up to a point, and then showed close to no progress further.