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Defining Happiness; wealth, love, something else?

defining happiness blog by David Werdiger

Can money buy happiness? And does being ‘happy’ mean something different to those who have wealth and those who don’t? These are the questions considered in a recent research study.

Most anyone who has wealth would find it obvious that the answer to the first question is a resounding ‘no’, but it takes the rigour of an academic to first define happiness (life satisfaction and a set of distinct positive emotions), and then examine the correlation between them and wealth or social class.

So the answer to the second question is ‘yes’. But how are they different? For those of higher social class, happiness is reflected in self-oriented feelings like pride and contentment, which may reflect their desire for independence and self-sufficiency.

On the other hand, lower classes exhibit other-oriented feelings of compassion and love as their expression of happiness, which could help them cope with their more threatening environments.

Consider This: What makes you happy? How much of your happiness derives from wealth or consumption?

Original articles: from the LA Times which is based on a research publication from the magazine Emotion (a very dry read for those academically inclined).

Actionable Generational Wealth Succession: For more in-depth, thought-provoking discussion points and commentary on family and business, access my Familosophy newsletter archives:

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