Correlation Between Money and Happiness – Psychology

Daniel Kahneman, psychologist and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002, and Angus Deaton, winner of the same Nobel Prize in 2015, analyzed more than 450,000 responses and found that there was a positive correlation between income and self-reported happiness.

However, participants’ subjective grading of their daily emotional states flattened out after a certain income level.

In other words, there is a point where more money will not make you happier.

The relationship between money and happiness reaches its climax at a salary of 75.000 USD.

With this I want to point out that money can buy happiness to a certain degree, but there is a limit.

Once you pass it, your level of satisfaction will not increase based on money; in fact, it may even decrease.

Shouldn’t money buy happiness?

If you had to choose between a higher salary or a shorter working day, what would you choose?

The choice between time or money depends in part on how happy you are.

A study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science revealed that happy people tend to choose more time rather than more money.

According to a study from Princeton University, income of up to $ 75.000 a year – and spending that money well – can influence your subjective level of happiness.

But can you become happier by making more money over this limit, or is it better to have more time to enjoy with your loved ones and yourself?

Socially, it is more than accepted that money does not bring joy.

In addition, in 2010 a study was published by the University of Victoria (New Zealand) which in fact confirms that money was equal to well-being, but that it could in no way “buy” doses of happiness.

In this study, almost 500,000 interviews were conducted from about 70 countries around the world.

The conclusions were that Freedom and leisure are above cumulative wealth when it comes to providing well-being.

Some believe that this was a deliberate study to calm the masses in times of economic crisis and a reduction in the purchasing power of citizens around the world.

To put it bluntly, this study was an emotional relief for those groups who were convinced that Bill Gates and Amancio’s Ortega lived happier lives.

Well, that was not so wrong.

Another joint study between Harvard University and Columbia (USA) opposes the research of their marine colleagues.

It is more of a semantic question.

Money does not buy happiness, true, but it does help to be able to invest in it in your spare time.

What unequivocally distinguishes happy people from unhappy people is the time variable.

If we have a good income and we know how to handle leisure with working life, we can have many more chances to be happy, while the population with less money has to accept precarious jobs for many hours or the moonlight to survive.

The problem is that conversely, the same thing does not happen.

If we have little money but a lot of free time, we can not invest in our well-being, we do not have enough resources to take advantage of free time.

The logic is as follows: times without obligations minimize the effects of stress and anxiety, which increases happiness.

Time or money: do you know how to use your time to be happy?

The study, published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, asked nearly 4,500 people whether they valued time or money higher when it came to happiness. 64% said they preferred money.

Despite their self-reported preferences, the study also found that people who cared more about time were generally happier.

When asked the same question a year later, 25% of the people who initially chose money had changed – they chose time.

The results of the study showed that between two people in similar circumstances, the person who decides that time is more important than money will be happier than the one who chooses money.

And this is not the only study of its kind.

A study from the University of British Columbia also found that valuing time over money is linked to higher levels of happiness.

This is especially true when you have to spend long working days making money.

Time is becoming more of a priority as people get older. This is logical, because every second that passes becomes more and more valuable.

Today, younger people seem to have noticed this, especially the “millennial generation, born between 1980 and 1995.

According to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, this generation prefers more leisure and balance in working life rather than high pay.

Leisure, unknown factor

Being a subject of extreme complexity to draw exact conclusions, every author who intervenes in this type of study or research tries to gather different variables and statements to support a more realistic essay.

For this, both Elizabeth Dunn, a research partner at Columbia University and Louis Tay, agree that the time factor is modern for all unknowns A parallel study was conducted to be able to specify this dissertation.

With a smaller number of participants, more than a thousand of them were grouped (and in the United States alone), affluent people, billionaires and middle or lower middle class people, and more than half of the respondents said no.

Knowing the benefit of investing in reducing stress by performing other responsibilities means having more time for them.

Does genes play a part?

Finally, what does happiness really depend on?

How big a part are external circumstances and how big a part are our genes, that is, thought and behavior patterns?

Research shows that in a given country, the variation between human happiness depends on 10-15 percent on the standard of living, on about fifty percent on genes and on the rest of our daily activities and our more immediate living conditions.


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I am constantly looking at entertaining videos and that also teach me something new.

He goes more in detail on how you can use your money to increase your happiness and so on.

So if you wanna go more in-depth in the topic then check out this video below:



This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

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