Some people think that money can buy happiness, but not a few also oppose it. Can Money Really Buy Happiness? Then, how is the relationship between money and happiness viewed from the lens of science?
Can Money Really Buy Happiness?
According to science, money can indeed buy happiness, but there is a limit. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Bath looked at the relationship between income and happiness. The result is that, at some point and under certain circumstances, money can buy happiness.
What makes humans happy?
At the most basic level, the things that make us happy or at least trigger a positive response and rewards in the brain is something that can meet our basic biological needs.
Simply put, we humans need many things to ensure their survival. Such as eating, drinking, water, air, sleep, and safety. The human brain recognizes these things as ‘biologically significant’, meaning that when we get them, we feel happy.
Because our brain can make intuitive and abstract leaps, it can easily understand that earning money means being able to meet needs more easily.
For example, eating the food you like is always enjoyable, but at some point you will feel full, and eating more can cause stomach discomfort.
There’s also a phenomenon called habituation, where parts of our brain learn not to react to predictability. On the other hand, surprising and unexpected new things tend to be happier than what was predicted.
In the case of money, for example, receiving a salary every month is great. But receiving money unexpectedly, even a small amount, can make us much happier.
Another example, when we really need money for our needs, getting the money will be very happy. But when we have money beyond that point or are “financially secure”, money is still useful but the value of happiness decreases, unlike when we really need it.
In this day and age, we may need money to do many things, but the relationship between money and happiness is indirect. That is, money is only a tool to achieve goals, not directly provide happiness.
How much money can make us happy?
Answering this question is not as easy as saying yes or no. Because, according to research there is no definite answer to determine how much money a person needs to be happy.
Everyone’s answer is different and varied. Some people feel that they will live happily with an adequate amount of money.
Others think they can be happy if they have lots of money. In fact, a study by the University of Bath found that people’s views of money and happiness are also influenced by culture.
In capitalist cultures, people’s ideas about security and finances are very different, and capitalist people who have a lot of money are less likely to be happier than those who have less money.
These capitalist rich people tend to have more to worry about. In the end, the saying “money can’t buy happiness” may not be quite right. Because without money, we can’t buy what we want and can make us happy. But everything returns to itself. Depending on how we value money and happiness.