Research shows that income rises with happiness, but being too happy can be bad for you.
University of Illinois psychology professor Ed Diener is the author of numerous studies that show the relationships between happiness and money.
Money can’t buy happiness
Ed Diener’s various studies have shown that money can’t buy happiness, but happy people tend to make more money. His studies show that happiness is not the consequence of having more money – just the opposite is true – having more money is the consequence of being happy.
Too much happiness can be a bad thing
In his latest study professor Diener and his team studied the income levels of people who had previously rated their happiness with a score from 1 to 10.
The results were somewhat surprising.
The amount of money a person made grew with their happiness but not all the way to the top level. The 10s (happiest people) made significantly less money than people who rated their happiness with an 8 or 9. The people whose “happy levels” were a bit less than 10 were also more likely to attend college and save money!
Happy people are strivers
Diener’s conclusion was that people who are happy but understand that it is possible to be even more satisfied with their life are strivers (people who rated their happiness with 8 or 9). These people understand that whatever their current situation, it is possible to be better off.
This insight seems to make people tick. They know that there is something to strive for.
Don’t be too happy
The top happy people who rated their happiness level with a 10 were money wise a lot worse off than the people who rated their happiness with an 8 or 9.
The explanation to this is also quite logical.
Tremendously happy people are always happy – whatever happens. If you work in McDonalds and you are happy with it, why look for a better job? If you get fired but you are still happy, why look for a job at all?
Overly happy people make bad decisions
According to a study done in Duke University the people who rate their happiness level with the maximum grade tend to overestimate their lifespan by more than 20 years. They also found that extreme optimists can have problems with controlling their urges – but they are happy with it.
It was found that extreme optimists tended to overspend and accumulate debt. They were happy to take a loan, because they were mistakenly positive that they could pay it back.
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