Money can’t make you happy if spent to impress others: research

Money can’t make you happy if spent to impress others: research

Spending money on once in a lifetime experiences won't make one happy if motive is to impress others.

Money cannot buy you happiness if you are spending it only to impress others,says a new study.

Researchers from San Francisco State University found that spending money on once in a lifetime experiences from luxury holidays to concert tickets won’t make one happy if the motive is to impress others.

“Why you buy is just as important as what you buy,” said Ryan Howell,an assistant professor who led the study.

“When people buy life experiences to impress others,it wipes out the well-being they receive from the purchase. That extrinsic motivation appears to undermine how the experiential purchase meets their key psychological needs,” Howell was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.


Howell’s previous findings showed that buying a life experience made people happier than when they bought material things,because it made them feel more competent and connected to others.

However,in the latest research,published in the Journal of Happiness Studies,Howell and his colleagues found that a person’s motivation for making a purchase predicts whether these needs will be met.

After surveying 241 participants they found that people who choose to buy life experiences because they were in line with their desires,interests and values reported a greater sense of fulfillment and well-being.

They were also less likely to feel lonely and had a greater sense of vitality,the researchers found.

However,people who chose life experiences to gain recognition from others reported feeling unsatisfied and less connected to others.

“The biggest question you have to ask yourself is why you are buying something,” Howell said.

“Motivation appears to amplify or eliminate the happiness effect of a purchase.”