Researchers discover the price of happiness

Researchers discover the price of happiness

Last Updated: Tue, Sep 07, 2010 08:02 hrs
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London: Money can buy you happiness - if you earn 50,000 pounds a year, a British study has found.

Earning less than that can make you miserable while earning more does not greatly enhance enjoyment of life, says the study.

Researchers found that contentment in life only rose steadily with annual income just below 50,000 pounds, or $75,000, reports London's Telegraph.

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The quality of the randomly-selected participants' everyday experiences did not improve significantly beyond a salary of 48,960.98 pounds.

But as income dropped from that amount, respondents reported decreasing happiness and increasing sadness and stress, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton explained that people's life evaluations rise steadily with income but the quality of emotional daily experiences levels-off once earnings reach a certain amount.

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Life evaluations were measured by asking 1,000 respondents to rate their lives on a scale of zero to 10. Emotional wellbeing was measured according to experiences of positive and negative emotions the previous day.

The data also suggested the emotional pain of unfortunate events or circumstances including disease, divorce and being alone are made worse by poverty.

But above a certain income, people's emotional wellbeing is held back by other more important issues.

Kahneman and Deaton, professors at Princeton University in New Jersey said: "More money does not necessarily buy more happiness but less money is associated with emotional pain."

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