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Research, Published Article | Social Class Determines Whether Buying Experiences or Things Makes You Happier

The conclusion that buying experiences yields more happiness than buying tangible objects is known as the experiential advantage.

What is the best way to spend money to increase your happiness? It may depend, in part, on how wealthy you are, according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. In a series of studies, researchers Jacob C. Lee of Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Deborah Hall of Arizona State University, and Wendy Wood of the University of Southern California found that only individuals who were relatively higher in social class showed the well-known effect of greater happiness from purchasing experiences, such as going to a concert or the movies, compared with purchasing material goods, such as a pair of shoes or accessories.

Article Information — ACCESS ARTICLE HERE …

Volume: 29 issue: 7, page(s): 1031-1039
Article first published online: May 24, 2018; Issue published: July 1, 2018
Received: March 18, 2016; Accepted: September 15, 2017
1, 2, 3, 4, 5

1School of Business Administration, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, Korea
2School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University
3Department of Psychology, University of Southern California
4Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California
5Marketing Department, INSEAD

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