Maybe money can’t buy happiness. But it can buy status, and status can indeed make us a bit happier.
An article in Time describes new research from Chris Boyce, a psychologist at the University of Warwick, and Simon Moore, a psychologist at Cardiff University. The pair sought to understand why societies that became wealthier didn’t become collectively happier. After all, rising incomes and wealth made individuals happier, up to a certain point of course.
Richard Attenborough爵士站在一辆劳斯莱斯旁《时代》(Time)杂志的一篇文章描述了华威大学(University of Warwick)的博伊斯(Chris Boyce)和卡迪夫大学(Cardiff University)的摩尔(Simon Moore)这两位心理学家的最新研究。二人试图了解为什么更加富裕的社会却没有实现集体幸福感的增强。毕竟,收入和财富的增加当然会在一定程度上让一个人更幸福。
So the researchers decided to dig deeper into what is called the ’reference-income hypothesis,’ a fancy way of saying that wealth is relative. If an entire country gets richer at the same time, individuals wouldn’t necessarily feel wealthier, since their relative positions in society hadn’t changed.
Most people don’t compare themselves with an abstract national average. Messrs. Boyce and Moore decided to try to figure out how people compare themselves with their neighbors, colleagues at work or friends from college. The higher their rank, the greater their sense of happiness and self-worth would likely be.
’For example, people might care about whether they are the second most highly paid person, or the eighth most highly paid person, in their comparison set,’ write the authors.
They found that the person’s rank within the comparison set was a stronger predictor of happiness than absolute wealth. ’If absolute income matters, as we increased our income, everybody should get happier at a national level, but we don’t seem to,’ Mr. Boyce said. ’So what we are showing is that in terms of life satisfaction, rank is a better predictor than absolute wealth.’来源:考试
The research may help explain why there is much consternation about wealth inequality over the past two decades even though standards of living have improved for many in the lower strata.