More Money Means More Happiness?

This post is paraphrased from this articel.

People will answer variously when they were asked this question: What is the correlation between money and happiness? Some people will stand that money have no relationship with happiness while others insist that money have a strong correlation with happiness.

“I have seen so little happiness come of money; it has brought within my knowledge so little peace to this house, or to any one belonging to it; that it is worth less to me than to another, “ said Charles Dickens on Little Dorrit.

Sigmund Freud took a position on this issue by saying: “Happiness is the deferred fulfillment of a prehistoric wish. That is why wealth brings so little happiness; money is not an infantile wish.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger, an artist and – now – a politician, gave a peculiar fact that, “Money doesn’t make you happy. I now have $50 million but I was just as happy when I had $48 million.”

Albert Camus, an Algerian-born French novelist, essayist, and dramatist, have an opposed position that: “It is a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think that they can be happy without money.”

Regarding this question, I do agree with a Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert. He said that whether money can buy happiness depends on a number of factors. His studies show that all we need for happiness is to have enough money for the basic necessities of life. Once we have enough for food, clothing and shelter, we have enough money to be happy. In other words, specific to basic living standards, money has a great influence on happiness.

According to this theory, people who raise salaries that haven’t enough yet to fulfill their basic needs, you can mention ‘honest PNS’ like me as an example, money can buy happiness. A little increase of my salary, even only 15% rise, will make a significant difference to the quality of my lives.

The theory continues that once the basic necessities are met, money doesn’t seem to correlate with happiness. Any additional wealth usually has little effect on your happiness. This situation explains why additional $ 2 million wealth for Arnold Schwarzenegger has no impact with his happiness.

Glenn Firebaugh, a sociological researcher from Pennsylvania State University, has a different approach towards this matter. His survey tried to find out whether the income effect on happiness results largely from the things money can buy, they called it absolute income effect or from comparing one’s income to the income of others, they called it relative income effect. Firebaugh found evidence of both relative and absolute effects, but US people thought that relative income is more important than absolute income. Firebaugh’s also found that the best single predictor of happiness was physical health, followed by income, education and marital status.

How about you?


Tentang Maman Firmansyah

Seorang pegawai yang gak jelas kerjaannya, selain apa yang disuruh atasan. Suami dari seorang istri dan ayah dari dua orang anak.
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