Does money make you happy? Science offers a surprising answer

Does money make you happy or not? This discussion goes on endlessly. For a moment, it seemed that science had given a clear answer to this question once and for all. Yet these same researchers are now coming back to this answer. After all, (more) money does indeed bring happiness, they now claim. Quite surprising, if you ask us.

What exactly is the relationship between happiness and money?

The scientific journey

Princeton University scientist Daniel Kahneman published his major research in 2010, in which he proposed the happiness plateau. Kahneman monitored the well-being of more than 450,000 Americans in 2008 and 2009 and concluded – in short – that above an income limit of $75,000 per year, more money does not make them happier.

It really makes you happy, according to 85 years of Harvard research

Yet, more than ten years later, there was a dissenting voice. Matthew Killingsworth, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, draws completely different conclusions after his scientific research. He argues that people become happier with more money. Even though this amount is well above the previously stated “happiness limit” of $75,000.

Joint research: does money make you happy?

Where in many sectors a single person may be right, the situation is a bit more nuanced in science. Instead of fighting, these scientists are one cooperation contracted. What seems? If we look at the average result, it seems that higher salary leads to more happiness. However, at the individual level, it is a bit more complicated. Especially among disgruntled people, it seems that they become happier with more income – up to a limit of around 90,000 euros per year.

The following applies to the middle class: extra money just makes for a little more happiness. For the happiest people, happiness also increases beyond an income ceiling of 90,000 euros per year. It is important to mention that the research was conducted on American soil, where the average income is much higher than in the Netherlands. There, the average salary is equal to just under 60,000 euros, while Jan Modaal in the Netherlands has to settle for around 40,000 euros gross on an annual basis.

5 ways money brings happiness

Are you already rich, but unhappy? Then the extra money will not contribute to more happiness. If you are already happy, extra money can give you extra happiness. In general, money brings happiness.

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Does money make you happy? Science offers a surprising answer

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