To test their thesis, the researchers first surveyed more than 600 Americans and evaluated their information on income and satisfaction. According to the findings, people who spend their money "socially" and buy gifts for others or donate to charities are happier than people who spend their income on themselves. In another test, the scientists distributed envelopes of money to 46 subjects, which the participants should spend within one day. The envelopes contained either $ 5 or $ 20. One half of the participants were told to spend the money for themselves, the other half of the subjects had to donate the money in gifts for others or donate for a good cause. At the end of the day, participants who had not spent their money on their own reported an increased level of satisfaction, regardless of whether they had received $ 5 or $ 20.
Finally, the researchers went to the question of why people do not manage to maximize their happiness with money. They interviewed around 100 people to see if $ 5 or $ 20 would make them happier and whether they would rather spend money for themselves or for social purposes. The majority of respondents were happier with the $ 20 and preferred to spend the money on themselves? For Dunn, that's the wrong way to happiness.Elizabeth Dunn (University of British Columbia, Vancouver) et al .: Science, Volume 319, p. 1687 ddp / science.de? Markus Zen's ad