More money will make you less sad, but not necessarily happier

It seems that money can not buy happiness (but can buy less sadness).

A new study has found that while money can’t buy you happiness, it can stave off sadness.

An article from the University of British Columbia looked at the link between money and sadness and concluded that people banking on large savings to make them happy, it could shield them against sadness. Much has been the studies that have been done to date on the link between money and happiness, but this is the first big achievement to look at the effects of money on sadness.

Study leader, psychologist Kostadin Kushlev says, “Using information from different strata of the American population, we have shown that high incomes are associated with the experience of lesser daily sadness but no consequences for everyday happiness.”

It may seem counterintuitive, but the article serves to remind us that happiness and sadness are not diametric opposites, they are distinct emotional states, meaning that when happiness increases, sadness doesn’t automatically decrease. “Income can ease some of the things that bring sadness to our lives,” Kushlev told Metro News , “but it does not necessarily provide the things that increase our happiness .”

For the study, Kushlev analyzed U.S. census data from 2010 that surveyed 12,291 people Americans on their levels of happiness and income. Comparing each person’s happiness with their income, they found that higher income is associated with less daily sadness but has no effect on daily happiness.

The research comes in the wake of the numerous studies done in recent decades that says that money can not buy you happiness, the most famous being the 1978 article that came out in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Kushlev said the researchers were surprised to see a correlation between wealth and lower levels of sadness.

That may be due to the comforting feeling that a pocketful of cash can offer when a crisis arises, he said.

For example, coming home to discover a leak in the roof might be an easy problem to solve for a well-off person. But for someone less fortunate, they may be plagued by the problem for months, Kushlev explained.

“It’s quite striking that something that we think should make us happier isn’t really making us happier,” he said. “People who are dedicating their lives to getting richer should at least know that getting richer won’t necessarily increase their happiness on a daily basis.”



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