happy peopleCollective hand-wringing about the economy and poll after poll showing that Americans are pessimistic about their finances misses a key point: Money can't buy you happiness.

Freedom and autonomy are more important than money for personal well-being at the societal level, reports a new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The study was conducted by researchers from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. Their results are from a meta-study looking at data from 63 countries and spanning nearly 40 years of collected information.

"Providing individuals with more autonomy appears to be important for reducing negative psychological symptoms, relatively independent of wealth," the researchers wrote in the journal.
Do you think more money leads to more happiness?
Yes. Without money I would be miserable.244 (17.0%)
Maybe. It reduces the stress in my life, but it doesn't determine how happy I am at the end of the day.945 (65.9%)
No. Happiness comes from within. I would be happy no matter how much money was in my bank account.246 (17.1%)

Other research has shown that how happy you are is related to how much you earn, but only to a point. Economists Daniel Kahneman and Alan B. Krueger wrote about their research on income and well-being in a 2006 article in Science magazine.

"People with above-average income are relatively satisfied with their lives," they wrote. "But [they] are barely happier than others in moment-to-moment experience, tend to be more tense, and do not spend more time in particularly enjoyable activities."

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darinw40@mail.com

This article must have been conjured up by business owners or Republicans to convince us that we don't need money to be happy...(They must think...you may be starving....but at least you have the freedom to starve)..this is probably all done to help to try to pacify the masses who are now considering a revolt in this country due to big business making money hand over fist while handing out excuses as to why the workers are starving and haven't received a raise in years

June 17 2011 at 5:28 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to darinw40@mail.com's comment
bggdg

Workers don't depend on businesses to "give" raises. They depend on themselves to create a value proposition when selling their labor that DEMANDS a commensurate wage.

June 17 2011 at 10:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bggdg

The article doesn't say financial well-being doesn't contribute to happiness. Only that freedom contributes yet more. The good news is that what most successfully allows citizens to obtain financial well-being is freedom!

June 17 2011 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patriotic Paul

One is not free unless he has the means to supply basic nescessities. Our culture requires an adequate yet not over exhorbitanat amount of fiat money to survive. The game has been stacked against the working class. The working class is now subserviant to either Big governmanet which is Big business, or Big businesses that wish to do away with the big governemnt middleman. It about time for a revolution again.

June 16 2011 at 11:47 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Patriotic Paul's comment
bggdg

First, EVERYBODY (rich poor and in between) have unfortunately become subservient to government who alone possesses the ability to employ force and coercion to acheive their goals. Second, I work and am not subservient big business. This is because, unlike interactions with the government, every transaction I undertake with a business is one into which I enter voluntarily. And if I don't like the terms, I refuse to voluntarily ento such transactions. What keeps you from doing likewise.

June 17 2011 at 10:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bchrist751

One needs to have enough Money which will provide for a comfortable living standard.

June 16 2011 at 10:45 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
scottee

every dollar that we are in debt, thanks to congress, makes us less free.

June 16 2011 at 8:20 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
malcolm

good health is something you'll never be able to buy.

June 16 2011 at 8:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MaeMae

If I had more money I could be more free and happier. ;)

June 16 2011 at 7:29 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
drbuckles

Freedom is just another word when you got nothing else to lose in a fascist state. When the wealth is distributed at the top and the wages are going down there will be unrest. Some good old marches at the capital will send the message.

June 16 2011 at 12:04 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
drbuckles

Google 14 things that make a country fascist and you'll find Republican values there, and none of them have anything to do with freedom.

June 15 2011 at 11:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to drbuckles's comment
icemanbill23

You are so wrong drchukles. Our country has moved to the left towards fascism. By "Republican values", I'm assuming you mean conservative values. Fascism by definition requires a large centralized government that favors the collective over the rights of individuals. The Tea Party Republicans favor the complete opposite of a fascist state. Less government, more constitutional rights, more individual freedom and personal responsibility is the cry of the new Republicans. Abandon your progressive talking points and join us in rebuilding this once great nation with conservative (Republican) values! (you can stop laughing now)

June 16 2011 at 1:29 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
motaki00

I agree with camarillofats all the way .
As for sjabt3d sounds like a plan of cashing out, its nice when you can but it was the cash that enabled you to have a solar home and land I would have been impressed if you built your home your self using the resources of your land instead of buy it. Cash gives you freedom to simply retire. Good job. So the money made you happier in the end. By allowing you to live better simpler lives with less stress. With out the money and your stressful job you would have more stress then you have ever known. Sounds like you spoiled I hope Im wrong. Have a nice day

June 15 2011 at 11:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to motaki00's comment
sjabt3d

Actually, I did build my own house, using local materials. Yes, I took advantage of good timing in the real estate market, but I live alongside Gulf War vet who bought a couple acres for about $1500, plopped a used yurt on it for about $5000, and has a 750 SF studio and no debt.

I don't live off saving or a trust fund. I'm not retired. I depend on a monthly income to pay bills. The point is that my expenses are vastly reduced. No iPhone, no sports car, no fancy dinners, no XM satellite. And life is just fine. I live a little like my veteran neighbor, and we both live a little like Warren Buffett...

June 16 2011 at 10:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
camarillofats

So happiness is having money? Clearly one can be rich and miserable at the same time. But, if Ihave to be miserable I would rather be rich and miserable. People who must work for a living, that is rent themselves and whatever they do out to an employer are mightily struggling. Republicans hope to return the country to the days of the industrial robber barons. Back then one worked for a pittance and were at the total mercy of the company. No paid vacations. No paid sick time. No holidays. No health insurance. No pensions. No safety measures. The goal of republicans is to increase the wealth of the already wealthy by robbing working people. A vote for a republican is a vote against your own self interests.

June 15 2011 at 10:43 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to camarillofats's comment
angalmarketing2

That is so 1950's; you need to get into the real, current world. You know, I know and we all know that no one or party is going to send us back 100 years. Quit trying to impress the other left-wing extremists who are also posting.

June 16 2011 at 9:53 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply