A study from Cambridge university makes for interesting reading...
The old adage ‘money can’t buy you happiness’ is being turned on its head thanks to a new study which suggests otherwise.
Cambridge Uni analysed 625 people and their 76,863 bank transactions, concluding that those who spent more on purchases that matched their personality were happier than those who didn’t.
Scientists analysed the ‘Big Five’ personality trends (open-ness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism) and looked at whether people spent money on things that truly suited them.
For example, a highly conscientiousness person spent £124 more annually on health and fitness than a person low in conscientiousness and a highly extroverted person spent approximately £52 more each year on pub nights than an introverted person.
The researchers also backed up the findings by giving people a voucher to spend either in a bookshop or at a bar. Extroverts who were forced to spend money at a bar were happier than the introverts who were forced to do the same thing, and the introverts made to drop money on a book were happier than their more outgoing counterparts who copied their spending habits.
Cambridge scientists pointed out that this follow-up experiment overcomes the limitations of the first study and helps conclude that money spent on things that match a person’s personality can cause an increase in happiness.
Extroverted? Eat out and go to the pub
Agreeable? You should contribute to charity
Conscientious? Sort out your finances and keep fit
Sandra Matz, a PhD candidate who co-authored the study said: ‘Our study breaks new ground by mining actual bank transaction data and demonstrating that spending can increase our happiness when it is spent on goods and services that fit our personalities and so meet our psychological needs.’
Scientists said the findings could be used to help search-based recommendation engines to suggest products and services that will actually help our wellbeing.
And although this news is super interesting, it’s pretty bleak too. It was kind of easy to justify the fact that lots of us in the UK are being paid less than we need to survive when we believed that fulfillment came from other avenues (you know, being ‘creative’ or going travelling etc). But now we’re being told to forget that, and earn some mega bucks instead.
Hands up who else is reconsidering all of their priorities right now?