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Respect, not Money, Make People Happy


Respect, not Money, Make People Happy

(epharmanews)- It has always been claimed that money can buy anything but happiness. Unsurprisingly, a new study suggests that how much one is respected and admired by those around them determines their overall all happiness, not their social status nor how much money they have stashed in their bank accounts.

Psychological scientist Cameron Anderson of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and his co-authors explore the relationship between different types of status and well-being. They gathered the results from four different studies they conducted.

In the first one, they surveyed 80 college students and asked their friends about how much respect they hold for each of the participants, to evaluate their social relationships. They also asked each of the participants about how they think of themselves, and about what leading roles the number of leadership positions the student had held in his or her group. After considering gender, race, and monthly income they found that sociometric (social) status, but not socioeconomic status, predicted students’ social well-being scores.

These results, published in Psychological Science, were similar to what the scientists found in the other three studies they conducted later on.

“We got interested in this idea because there is abundant evidence that higher socioeconomic status – higher income or wealth, higher education – does not boost subjective well-being (or happiness) much at all. Yet at the same time, many theories suggest that higher status should boost happiness,” said Anderson.

In the fourth study, the researchers decided to bring the causal story into the real world. Following students in a MBA program, they found that changes in sociometric status from pre-graduation to post-graduation corresponded to changes in the MBA students’ social well-being. And post-graduation sociometric status predicted social well-being more strongly than did post-graduation socioeconomic status.

“I was surprised at how fluid these effects were – if someone’s standing in their local ladder went up or down, so did their happiness, even over the course of 9 months,” said Anderson.

Together, the four studies provide clear evidence for the relationship between sociometric status and well-being. But why does sociometric status seem to matter so much when socioeconomic status doesn’t?

One possible explanation, which Anderson hopes to explore in future research, is that people adapt. “One of the reasons why money doesn’t buy happiness is that people quickly adapt to the new level of income or wealth. Lottery winners, for example, are initially happy but then return to their original level of happiness quickly,” said Anderson.

That kind of adaptation may simply not occur with local status. “It’s possible that being respected, having influence, and being socially integrated just never gets old,” Anderson said.


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Prepared by: Abdullatief Janat


Source :

ePharmaNews






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