Psychologists from the University of San Diego published in the journal of the American Psychological Association Emotion the results of a study proving that happiness is bought for money, reports Medical Xpress.
The authors used the data from the General Social Survey, one of the longest-running opinion polls in the United States. As a result, their sample included data from 44,198 adult Americans interviewed from 1972 to 2016. Here are some interesting results.
* On average, the more a person earns, the happier he is. Moreover, this pattern was revealed only now: previous studies showed that after a person reached an annual income of about $ 75,000, the “level” of his happiness remained approximately the same. Researchers comment: “It is amazing to what extent income is associated with a sense of happiness. The more money, the more happiness, even after satisfying basic needs”.
* Nowadays, happiness is associated with income more closely than it was in the 1970-80s. It seems that today you can buy yourself more happiness for money than in the last century.
* Happiness is "distributed" between people more and more unevenly. Much depends on race. So, white Americans without higher education after 2000 began to feel less happy, but the level of happiness of white Americans with higher education remains stable. The happiness of black Americans without higher education remains stable, while black Americans with higher education have become happier.
According to the researchers, the reason for the ever-widening “gap” in happiness is not clear. But there is a chance that this may be due to growing income inequality. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Other studies have shown that the mood of hopelessness and despair among the white American proletarians is growing, and the 2016 elections only strengthened the class division.
Another possible explanation may be related to marital status. There used to be roughly the same number of married people among low and high income Americans. But now, less-paid Americans are less likely to marry, and married people are, on average, happier.