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Money Can’t Buy Me Love

The Beatles, pop group of the 1960s swooned …. “I’ll buy you a diamond ring my friend if it makes you feel alright.  I’ll get you anything my friend if it makes you feel alright. Cos I don’t care too much for money, and money can’t buy me love” 

But ….  it can buy you happiness depending on what you spend it on – according to Michael Norton in his TED Talk “How to Buy Happiness”. He proves that the answer is to be prosocial with your money.

His first test was at the University of Columbia where he asked a bunch of students how happy they were (on a scale of course).  He then gave each an envelope with a denomination of cash inside it and a slip saying either to spend it on self or to spend it on someone else. He then asked how happy the people were afterwards.

Those that spent the gift on self, spent it on stuff they would have bought anyway and were no happier nor more miserable than they had been earlier.  Those that spent the money on someone else were happier.  Regardless of the value of the money.

The thing is that he did the same experiment in Uganda and got the same results.

Then he looked how people in teams felt about spending the money on themselves or spending the money on something their team mates could share.  Without exception the ‘pro-social’ bonus out motivated all individual incentives, the sales teams sold more and the sports teams dominated the league.

If you think that money can’t buy you happiness you maybe are not spending it right – spend it on someone else …  Brilliant!  Would you like my wish list?

 

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