Happiness is linked to money. It’s that simple, but with nuances. Some authors are quick to assert that “money is not everything” or “it does not buy happiness”. The first we could accept, the second needs some explanation. Having established the link between salary and personal well-being, experts suggest that there are income levels and ranges to measure to what extent this is true.
On the other hand, if money is happiness, how much does income affect it? Is there an income limit that cannot increase this happiness? A work published in the journal Nature reveals some curiosities. However, some psychologists, like the American Charles Whitehead, remain skeptical about this question and deny the findings of the study which we will discuss below.
Doesn’t money buy happiness?
Socially, it is more than accepted that money does not bring happiness. In addition, in 2010, a study was published by the University of Victoria (New Zealand) which affirms, in effect, that money equals well-being but that it could not in any case “buy” doses of happiness. This study conducted nearly 500,000 interviews in approximately 70 countries around the world. The conclusions were that freedom and free time are above cumulative wealth in terms of well-being.
Some believe it was in response to a study intended to calm the masses in times of economic crisis and declining purchasing power of citizens around the world. To put it another way, this study was an emotional relief for groups who were convinced that Bill Gates and Amancios Ortega lived happier lives.
Well, they weren’t that bad. Another joint study between Harvard University and Columbia (USA) contradicts the research of his ocean colleagues. It’s more of a semantic problem. Money doesn’t buy happiness, it’s true, but it does it helps to be able to invest in free time. What unequivocally distinguishes happy people from unhappy people is the time variable. If we have a good income and know how to manage leisure time with active life, we can be much more likely to be happy, while the population with less money has to accept precarious jobs lasting several hours or more. multi-occupant to survive.
The problem is, the other way around, the same doesn’t happen. If we have little money but a lot of free time, we will not be able to invest in our well-being, We do not have enough resources to enjoy free time. The logic is this: Time without obligations minimizes the effects of stress and anxiety, which increases happiness.
The boundaries between the relationship money and happiness
To determine the correlation between happiness and money, American sociologists and human behavior research experts Andrew T. Jebb, Louis Tay, Ed Diener and Shigehiro Oishi conducted their study using the Gallup method. The Gallup Organization is specifically responsible for measuring, analyzing, and studying the behavior of individuals to address issues of concern to society as a whole.
Choosing the Gallup World Poll, the authors relied on a panel of 2 million people around the world, controlling for demographic factors that determine income by area in which data collection is done, randomly to minimize any kind of bias. In conclusion of the study, an enlightening result was obtained: there is a threshold beyond which earning more money does not bring more happiness. This limit oscillates between $ 60,000 and $ 90,000 annual. Numbers that exceed this amount are unable to generate more happiness or emotional stability.
Free time, factor unknown
Being a subject of extreme complexity to draw exact conclusions, each author who intervenes in this type of study or research, tries to collect different variables and statements to support a more realistic thesis. To do this, Elizabeth Dunn, a researcher at Columbia University, and Louis Tay agree that the time factor is the mother of all unknowns.
A parallel study was carried out in order to materialize this thesis. With a smaller number of participants, just over a thousand of them (and in the United States alone), well-to-do, billionaires, and middle and lower-middle class people have grouped together, and more than half of respondents said they did not know the benefit of investing in reduce stress by relieving yourself of other responsibilities which forces them to have more time for themselves.