Tomorrow’s *Chicago Tribune* (Sunday, May 3) includes an interview with social psychologist David Myers: “Money does buy happiness — but only temporarily” by Eve Hightower.
Here are some excerpts:
Q What should we know about happiness during times like these?
A Economic growth has not led to happiness over time. Growth and
downfalls can lead to short-term happiness, but we rebound to our normal
level of happiness after a while.
People who value high income, occupational success and prestige to
having very close friends and a close marriage are twice as likely to
describe themselves as “fairly” or “very” unhappy.
The need to belong runs deeper, it seems, than any need to be rich.
For all but the very poor, more money buys no more than a temporary
surge of happiness.
Q What does predict happiness?
A Perhaps the most important predictor is close, supportive
relationships. We’re social animals. Forty percent of married adults
say they’re happy, whereas 23 percent of never-married adults say
But just being married doesn’t mean you’re happy. You can be in an
Q There’s also a correlation between religion and happiness. Are
religious people happy or are happy people attracted to religion?
A Causal traffic is two-way between happiness and marriage and could be
with religion too. Happy people tend to be more social in general.
QAnd unhappiness can be a good thing?
AWhen bad things happen in our lives, unhappiness alerts us to do
something about it.
The interview is online at:
courtesy of Ken Pope