Science has finally pronounced itself: money can bring happiness. But how much should you earn to be happy? A Nobel laureate in economics in a recent study explains it. (Focus.it, September 22nd 2010)
Apparently the old saying "money does not make happiness" is not true. In reality, who didn't have the least suspicion? Now, however, there is scientific evidence: according to a study conducted by two professors from Princeton University, Angus Deaton and Daniel Kahneman (Nobel Prize for Economics in 2002), the level of subjective well-being grows as the bank account goes up. This is what emerges from the analysis of the results of the Well-Being Index survey conducted on 450, 000 Americans in 2008-2009 by the Gallup Organization survey company.
The figure of happiness
But there's more. The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), analyzed two different types of well-being: the first is emotional well-being, referring to the quality of emotions and individual daily experiences (frequency and intensity of joy, stress, sadness, anger, affection), which make a person happy or unhappy. The second concerns the perception that each individual has of his life. The results show that the two components of well-being react differently to income.
In particular, when income increases the perception of one's lifestyle grows steadily; even emotional well-being grows with income, but only up to the threshold of 75, 000 dollars a year (about 60, 000 euros), a value beyond which growth stops.
The results show that if income falls below $ 75, 000, happiness decreases and stress and sadness increase, but if it exceeds this quota, only the perception of quality of life increases, while the level of happiness remains stable.
The message is clear: a high income does not ensure happiness, but makes life more satisfying.
Who are the happiest people on the planet? Find out in this episode of Numbers
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