The Financial Pursuit of Happiness

As I’ve mentioned before, I love to travel, try new things and enjoy different surroundings. Apparently, I’m not the only one. According to an NPR article, research suggests that some people may receive more happiness from experiences rather than making material purchases – even if that experience is simply standing in line.

NPR’s You Can Buy Happiness, If It’s An Experience highlights a study called Waiting for Merlot: Anticipatory Consumption of Experiential and Material Purchases. The research tracked about 100 college students and over 2,200 randomly selected adults, examining how they felt about material goods and experiences. The findings suggest that:

“People got excited about both things and events. But they tended to feel more positive about experiential purchases, and their feelings about material purchases were more likely to be tinged with feelings of impatience.”

I think this research is fascinating. The way people experience happiness can be impacted by so many factors. Pretty cool. I’m curious, if you had the choice between buying an experience or making a material purchase, what would you choose?

If you are interested in checking out the whole study, please click here.

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