References and Further Reading 1. Biography and History Aristotle's life was primarily that of a scholar.
For when economists tackled the question, they started from the observation that when people put something up for sale they try to get as much for it as they can, and when people buy something they try to pay as little for it as they can.
Both sides in the transaction, the economists noticed, are therefore behaving as if they would be more satisfied happier, dare we say if they wound up receiving more money the seller or holding on to more money the buyer.
Hence, more money must be better than less, and the only way more of something can be better than less of it is if it brings you greater contentment. Depressed debutantes, suicidal CEOs, miserable magnates and other unhappy rich folks aren't the only ones giving the lie to this.
According to Wealth does not bring happiness economics, the most important commodity you can buy with additional wealth is choice. Additional wealth also lets you satisfy additional needs and wants, and the more of those you satisfy the happier you are supposed to be.
The trouble is, choice is not all it's cracked up to be. Studies show that people like selecting from among maybe half a dozen kinds of pasta at the grocery store but find 27 choices overwhelming, leaving them chronically on edge that they could have chosen a better one than they did.
And wants, which are nice to be able to afford, have a bad habit of becoming needs iPod, anyone? Satisfying needs brings less emotional well-being than satisfying wants. The nonlinear nature of how much happiness money can buy—lots more happiness when it moves you out of penury and into middle-class comfort, hardly any more when it lifts you from millionaire to decamillionaire—comes through clearly in global surveys that ask people how content they feel with their lives.
In a typical survey people are asked to rank their sense of well-being or happiness on a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 means "not at all satisfied with my life" and 7 means "completely satisfied. Homeless people in Calcutta came in at 2. But before you assume that money does buy happiness after all, consider who else rated themselves around 5.
And proving Gilbert's point about money buying happiness only when it lifts you out of abject poverty, slum dwellers in Calcutta—one economic rung above the homeless—rate themselves at 4.
Studies tracking changes in a population's reported level of happiness over time have also dealt a death blow to the money-buys-happiness claim. But people's sense of well-being, as measured by surveys asking some variation of "Overall, how satisfied are you with your life?
Japan has had an even more meteoric rise in GDP per capita since its postwar misery, but measures of national happiness have been flat, as they have also been in Western Europe during its long postwar boom, according to social psychologist Ruut Veenhoven of Erasmus University in Rotterdam. A analysis of more than studies on wealth and happiness concluded that "economic indicators have glaring shortcomings" as approximations of well-being across nations, wrote Ed Diener of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Martin E.
Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania. They just take the Maytag for granted. If money doesn't buy happiness, what does? Grandma was right when she told you to value health and friends, not money and stuff. Or as Diener and Seligman put it, once your basic needs are met "differences in well-being are less frequently due to income, and are more frequently due to factors such as social relationships and enjoyment at work.
If a nation wants to increase its population's sense of well-being, says Veenhoven, it should make "less investment in economic growth and more in policies that promote good governance, liberties, democracy, trust and public safety.
Young people who describe themselves as happy typically earn higher incomes, years later, than those who said they were unhappy. It seems that a sense of well-being can make you more productive and more likely to show initiative and other traits that lead to a higher income.People say money doesn't buy happiness.
Except, according to a new study from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, it sort of does — up to about $75, a year. The lower a person's annual income falls below that benchmark, the unhappier he or she feels. But no matter how much more than $.
Aristotle: Politics. In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle ( B.C.E.) describes the happy life intended for man by nature as one lived in accordance with virtue, and, in his Politics, he describes the role that politics and the political community must play in bringing about the virtuous life in the citizenry.
The Politics also provides analysis of . 'We got interested in this idea because there is abundant evidence that higher socioeconomic status - higher income or wealth, higher education - does not boost subjective well-being (or happiness.
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The best-selling author shares his insights on how to tackle our most difficult problems, from improving our love lives and our pocketbook to improving our . What is Happiness? A puzzling situation: Billy won the lottery.
A cool $25 million!
He appeared to be a good man with a good character. Of the many types of people who might have won, his friends were happy it was Billy.