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Science. 2008 Mar 21;319(5870):1687-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1150952.

Spending money on others promotes happiness.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, 2136 West Mall, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada. edunn@psych.ubc.ca

Erratum in

  • Science. 2009 May 29;324(5931):1143.

Abstract

Although much research has examined the effect of income on happiness, we suggest that how people spend their money may be at least as important as how much money they earn. Specifically, we hypothesized that spending money on other people may have a more positive impact on happiness than spending money on oneself. Providing converging evidence for this hypothesis, we found that spending more of one's income on others predicted greater happiness both cross-sectionally (in a nationally representative survey study) and longitudinally (in a field study of windfall spending). Finally, participants who were randomly assigned to spend money on others experienced greater happiness than those assigned to spend money on themselves.

PMID:
18356530
DOI:
10.1126/science.1150952
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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