Be Happier

by [anonymous] 8y16th Apr 201234 min read278 comments

112



This started as an assignment to find out about the science of ‘buying happiness’ (using money to become happier) — hence the emphasis on money-and-happiness. I learned a great deal more than how to buy happiness, however, and the project became somewhat more generalized. It is not meant to be comprehensive, but perhaps it makes for a useful supplement to Luke’s How to be Happy. This post consists mostly of quoted material.


In A Nutshell

Money and Happiness

  • Spend on others, especially people you are close to. Positive feedback loop: Prosocial spending makes you happier, and happiness makes you more likely to spend prosocially.
  • Don’t be stingy. It's bad for your health.
  • Don’t think too much about money. It will impair your savoring ability. It's also bad for your family life.
  • Be time-aware, but don’t think of time in terms of money.
  • Being richer will not necessarily make you happier.
  • Do not live in wealthy enclaves.
  • Avoid conspicuous consumption.

Work Satisfaction

  • Coping with Stress: React pragmatically rather than emotionally.
  • Go for ‘approach’ goals instead of ‘avoid’ goals.
  • Autonomy: Make a point of prefering autonomous goals rather than heteronomous goals (goals imposed by others).
  • Autonomy: Make sure you have spare discretionary time — even at financial cost.
  • Be passionate, but don’t obsess.
  • Do work that you enjoy doing. Flow.
  • Set goals that are reasonably challenging and reasonably achievable.

Materialism and Purchasing

  • Prefer experiential purchases; avoid materialistic goals.
  • Keep your goals intrinsic.
  • Don’t do ‘comparison shopping.’ And don’t place much stock in the happiness potential of any one positive change.
  • Follow the herd. “The best way to predict how much we will enjoy an experience is to see how much someone else enjoyed it.”

Interpersonal

  • Socialize with close others.
  • Associate with happy people.
  • Give the people around you opportunities to be generous. Ask them for favors.
  • Be actively kind (and occasionaly reminisce about your recent acts of kindness).

Stretching Happiness (fighting hedonic adaptation)

  • Go for smaller, more frequent successes rather than larger ones.
  • Go for variety and surprise. Don’t keep doing the same thing.
  • Savor anticipation. Delay consumption. Actively anticipate good experiences.
  • Divide positive experiences into smaller pleasures, if possible.
  • Corollary: Conclude negative experiences as soon as possible.
  • Make a point of avoiding experiences that make you feel bad.

Appreciation

  • Be grateful and count your blessings (literally). Recycle happiness by reminiscing about good experiences.
  • Think of counterfactuals. (“If I didn’t have this positive thing, what do I lose?”)
  • Breathe deeply. Expand your time — by slowing down.
  • Stay in the present.

Optimal Happification

  • Actively want to be happier. Motivation and investment matter.
  • Learn about the science of happiness. Internalize the lessons in this article and in here.


Some Key Terms

  • Subjective Well Being (SWB) aka happiness.
  • Hedonic Adaptation — the phenomenon of (rapidly) diminishing positive or negative affect from any one experience or thing.
  • Hedonic treadmill — the phenomenon of neverending aspirations for materialistic acquisitions that results from hedonic adaptation.


Money and Happiness

Spend on others, especially people you are close to.

Past research in our lab has repeatedly shown that people are happier when they use financial resources to benefit others rather than themselves [Aknin, Dunn, Sandstrom & Norton, submitted, 1,14].
... findings suggest that to reap the greatest emotional reward from spending on someone else, one should direct their purchases to close others
These findings should not be taken to suggest that people should avoid spending on weak social ties. Indeed, treating an acquaintance from yoga to a coffee after class might help to build a new strong tie. Thus, spending money on a weak social tie might help facilitate the development of new strong ties in the longer term.
… research on reciprocal altruism and the evolution of cooperation demonstrates that people ultimately benefit from behaving generously and cooperatively toward individuals with whom they are likely to interact in the future
The current results […] shed novel insight into translating spending choices into happiness: the next time you find a few spare dollars in your pocket, you will be happiest if you treat your best friend.

(Aknin, Sandstrom, Dunn, & Norton, 2011b)

This research also supports the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions by demonstrating that higher levels of happiness may expand an individual’s mindset to include thoughts of others.

(Ahuvia, 2002)

... prosocial spending may be particularly promising route to prosocial behavior because it has been shown to increase happiness immediately after spending (Dunn et al. 2008, 2010) and later upon reflection, as demonstrated here.
... how money is spent may matter more than how much money is spent. That is, participants who recalled spending on others felt happier than those who spent money on themselves, and the benefits of prosocial spending were the same regardless of whether they spent $100 or just $20. Recent work suggests that prosocial behavior leads to emotional gains by providing opportunities for positive social contact (Aknin et al. 2011b); therefore, prosocial spending should promote happiness if the spending opportunity fosters positive relations with others, which may be largely independent of the specific amount of money spent. (Aknin, Dunn, & Norton, 2011a)
... participants assigned to spend a small windfall on someone else by purchasing a gift or making a donation to charity (prosocial spending) were significantly happier at the end of the day than participants assigned to spend the same size windfall by paying for a bill, expense, or gift for themselves (personal spending)

(Aknin, Dunn, & Norton, 2011a)

Positive feedback loop:

Taken together, our results show that
(a) recalling a past prosocial spending experience leads to higher levels of happiness,
(b) higher levels of happiness increase the likelihood of engaging in prosocial spending, and
(c) recalling a past experience of prosocial spending increases the likelihood of spending a new windfall on others to the extent that happiness levels are elevated in the interim. This suggests that spending money on others may be self-reinforcing as long as this prosocial experience provides happiness.

(Aknin, Dunn, & Norton, 2011a)

Being generous will make you happier.

experiments within two very different countries (Canada and Uganda) […] show that spending money on others has a consistent, causal impact on happiness.
In contrast to traditional economic thought—which places self-interest as the guiding principle of human motivation—our findings suggest that the reward experienced from helping others may be deeply ingrained in human nature, emerging in diverse cultural and economic contexts.
[In both] Canada and Uganda — [which] differ dramatically in national-level income and donation frequency, we find that individuals report significantly greater well-being after reflecting on a time when they spent money on others rather than themselves. This effect emerged consistently across these two cultures, even though the specific prosocial spending experiences participants described differed considerably. Thus, although prosocial spending differs in both frequency (Study 1) and form (Study 2) in poor versus wealthy countries, its emotional consequences are remarkably consistent.

(Aknin et al., 2010)

we found that spending more of one’s income on others predicted greater happiness both cross-sectionally (in a nationally representative survey study) and longitudinally (in a field study of windfall spending). Finally, participants who were randomly assigned to spend money on others experienced greater happiness than those assigned to spend money on themselves.

(Dunn, Aknin, & Norton, 2008)

...prosocial spending is consistently associated with greater happiness.
The robustness of this mechanism is supported by our finding that people seem to experience emotional benefits from sharing their financial resources with others not only in countries where such resources are plentiful, but also in impoverished countries where scarcity might seem to limit the possibilities to reap the gains from giving to others.

(Aknin et al., 2010)

Don't be Stingy.

Aside from the positive effect of generosity on your own happiness, stinginess makes you less healthy; it is easier to be happy when you are healthy.

The present research suggests that stingy economic behavior can produce a feeling of shame, which in turn drives secretion of the stress hormone cortisol.
... the present research provides support for Social Self-Preservation Theory, which posits that acute threats to the ‘social self’ induce shame and lead to increased cortisol, as part of a coordinated response to social threats (Dickerson, Gruenewald, & Kemeny, 2004a).
Our findings provide initial, suggestive evidence that shame and cortisol represent plausible emotional and biological pathways that might link everyday decisions about whether to help others with downstream consequences for one’s own health.
... stingy economic behavior predicts cortisol secretion only to the extent that stinginess provokes shame.

(Dunn et al., 2010)

Caveat: hedonic adaptation moderates the deleterious effect of bad health on well-being, but not entirely — and negative experiences are more powerful than positive experiences:

”To sum up almost two decades of research, bad is stronger than good.”

(Chancellor & Lyubomirsky, 2011)

(More on negative experiences farther down in ‘STRETCHING HAPPINESS’.)

Think about time, but don’t think of time in terms of money (“An hour of my time is worth…”).

... thinking about time in terms of money can influence how people experience pleasurable events by instigating greater impatience during unpaid time.
In three separate experiments we have demonstrated that bringing individuals’ effective hourly wage to their attention impairs the ability to derive happiness from pleasurable experiences.
One possible explanation is that impatience discourages savoring. Savoring is a form of emotional regulation which augments the happiness individuals derive from experiences (e.g. Bryant et al., 2005; Quoidbach, 2009; Tugade & Fredrickson, 2007).
... recent ethnographic research […] found that people who are paid by the hour narrowly evaluate their time use in terms of its economic returns. As a consequence, they tend to discount the worth of activities with non-economic benefits (Evans et al., 2004).
... the present findings suggest that thinking about time in terms of money is poised to affect our ability to smell the proverbial roses.

(DeVoe & House, 2012)

... there is a bi-directional relationship between the scarcity of time and its value: not only does having little time make it feel more valuable, but when time is more valuable, it is perceived as more scarce (DeVoe & Pfeffer, 2010).

(Aaker et al., 2010)

In an word priming experiment done in a cafe:

Pair-wise comparisons showed that individuals primed with time spent more of their time at the café socializing than those primed with money. Further, individuals primed with time spent less of their time working than those primed with money
Participants primed with money worked more than those in the control condition and participants primed with time worked less than those in the control condition
... participants primed with time were happier than those primed with money. […] Participants primed with time were also happier than those in the control condition [and] the happiness levels of those primed with money and those in the control condition did not differ significantly,
These results suggest that increasing the relative salience of time (vs. money) can increase happiness by leading people to behave in more connecting ways [and] can nudge someone to spend that extra hour at home rather than at the office, there finding greater happiness.
Focusing on money motivates one to work more, which is useful to know when struggling to put in that extra hour of work to meet a looming deadline. However, passing the hours working (although productive) does not translate into greater happiness. Spending time with loved ones does, and a shift in attention toward time proves an effective means to motivate this social connection.
... the relevant question may be not how much money people have, but rather how much attention people put on money.
Despite the belief that money is the resource most central to Americans’ pursuit of happiness, increased happiness requires a shift in attention toward time.

(Mogilner, 2010)

Being richer will not necessarily make you happier.

The belief that high income is associated with good mood is widespread but mostly illusory. People with above-average income are relatively satisfied with their lives but are barely happier than others in moment-to-moment experience, tend to be more tense, and do not spend more time in particularly enjoyable activities. Moreover, the effect of income on life satisfaction seems to be transient. We argue that people exaggerate the contribution of income to happiness because they focus, in part, on conventional achievements when evaluating their life or the lives of others.
The latter finding might help explain why income is more highly correlated with general life satisfaction than with experienced happiness, as tension and stress may accompany goal attainment, which in turn contributes to judgments of life satisfaction more than it does to experienced happiness.
Despite the weak relation between income and global life satisfaction or experienced happiness, many people are highly motivated to increase their income. In some cases, this focusing illusion may lead to a misallocation of time, from accepting lengthy commutes (which are among the worst moments of the day) to sacrificing time spent socializing (which are among the best moments of the day) (28, 29). An emphasis on the role of attention helps to explain both why many people seek high income—because their predictions exaggerate the increase in happiness due to the focusing illusion—and why the long- term effect of income gains become relatively small, because attention eventually shifts to less novel aspects of daily life.

(Kahneman, 2006)

It is found that higher income aspirations reduce people’s satisfaction with life. In Switzerland and the New German Laender, the negative effect of an increase in the aspiration level on well-being is of a similar absolute magnitude as the positive effect on well-being of an equal increase in income. This suggests that subjective well-being depends largely on the gap between income aspirations and actual income and not on the income level as such. the higher the ratio between aspired income and actual income, the less satisfied people are with their life, ceteris paribus. This supports the notion of a relative utility concept.

(Stutzer & Frey, 2010)

Emotional well-being also rises with log income, but there is no further progress beyond an annual income of ∼$75,000. Low income exacerbates the emotional pain associated with such misfortunes as divorce, ill health, and being alone.
[The data suggest that] above a certain level of stable income, individuals’ emotional well-being is constrained by other factors in their temperament and life circumstances.

(Kahneman & Deaton, 2010)

Pitfall of being wealthy: your ability to savor positive emotions and experiences will be impaired. Don’t make money your priority.

The present study provides the first evidence that money impairs people‘s ability to savor everyday positive emotions and experiences.
In a sample of working adults, wealthier individuals reported lower savoring ability.
... the negative impact of wealth on savoring undermined the positive effects of money on happiness.
... moving beyond self-report, participants exposed to a reminder of wealth spent less time savoring a piece of chocolate and exhibited reduced enjoyment of it. The present research supplies evidence for the previously untested notion that having access to the best things in life may actually undercut the ability to reap enjoyment from life‘s small pleasures.
In other words, one need not actually visit the pyramids of Egypt or spend a week in the legendary spas of Banff—simply knowing that these peak experiences are readily available may increase the tendency to take the small pleasures of daily life for granted.
... having access to the best things in life may actually undermine the ability to reap enjoyment from life‘s small pleasures.
... our research demonstrates that a simple reminder of wealth produces the same deleterious effects as actual wealth, suggesting that perceived access to pleasurable experiences may be sufficient to impair everyday savoring. (Quoidbach et al., 2010)
This perspective is consistent with the intriguing theoretical notion that hedonic adaptation may occur not only in response to past experiences, but also in response to anticipated future experiences (Frederick & Loewenstein, 1999).
Our studies provide a novel contribution by demonstrating that the emotional benefits that money gives with one hand (i.e., access to pleasurable experiences), it takes away with the other by undercutting the ability to relish the small delights of daily living.
... experimentally exposing participants to a reminder of wealth produced the same deleterious effect on savoring as did actual individual differences in wealth.

(Quoidbach et al., 2010)

Across nations, placing a higher importance on money is associated with lower well-being (Kirkcaldy, Furnham, & Martin, 1998).

(Diener & Seligman, 2004)

Financial aspirations are bad for family life (and the quality of interpersonal relationships is a strong predictor of happiness).

The negative consequences [of financial aspirations] were particularly severe for the domain of family life; the stronger the goal for financial success, the lower the satisfaction with family life, regardless of household income.

(Nickerson et al., 2003)

Don’t live ‘high’.

Not only materialism, but wealth itself has been found in a few studies to produce negative effects. Hagerty (2000) found that when personal income was statistically controlled, individuals living in higher-income areas in the United States were lower in happiness than people living in lower-income areas. (Diener & Seligman, 2004)
This suggests that wealthy individuals are fortunate if they live in middle-class areas rather than in wealthy enclaves.
The negative effects of wealthy communities might partly be explained by their higher materialism (Stutzer, in press).

(Diener & Seligman, 2004)

(Perhaps the more important point here is that you must surround yourself with low-materialism people, which means surrounding yourself with happy people, since materialism correlates negatively with happiness. A caveat to the advice of living in middle class areas if wealthy: the presence of a wealthy neighbor can make people more materialistic; it makes them aspire for more. A wealthy person can make his less wealthy neighbors less happy. See below.)

Avoid conspicuous consumption.

The ‘relative income hypothesis’ was formulated and econometrically tested by James Duesenberry (1949), who posited an asymmetric structure of externalities. People look upwards when making comparisons. Aspirations thus tend to be above the level already reached. Wealthier people impose a negative external effect on poorer people, but not vice versa. Fred Hirsch (1976), in his book Social Limits to Growth, emphasised the role of relative social status by calling attention to ‘positional goods’ which, by definition, cannot be augmented, because they rely solely on not being available to others. This theme was taken up by Robert Frank (1985, 1999), who argued that the production of positional goods in the form of luxuries, such as exceedingly expensive watches or yachts, is a waste of productive resources, as overall happiness is thereby decreased rather than increased.

(Frey & Stutzer, 2002)

(This relates to the recommendation to associate with happy people — farther down.)

More Recommendations


WORK SATISFACTION

Coping with Stress: React pragmatically rather than emotionally.

Coping can be divided into two broad engagements – either to trigger the individual to approach the problem or to regulate the emotional reactions arising from the challenge at hand (Andersson & Willebrand 2003). The literature typically differentiates two broad strategies of coping (for a review, see Lazarus & Folkman 1984). First, problem-based coping refers to a cognitively-based response behaviour that includes efforts to alleviate stressful circumstances. This coping strategy includes defining the problem, generating alternative solutions, determining the costs and benefits of such solutions, and actions taken to solve the problem. Second, emotion-based coping involves behavioural responses to regulate the affective consequences of stressful events, which may include avoidance, minimisation and distancing oneself from the problem (Lazarus & Folkman 1984).
It seems that problem-based coping strategies are more instrumental than emotion-based ones for attaining successful entrepreneurial outcomes. This implies that entrepreneurs who are more inclined toward emotion-based coping could be trained to employ more problem-based coping, since coping can be learned just like any other competence.

(Drnovšek et al., 2010)

Leaders and Entrepreneurs: Don’t take on too many business partners. (See also AUTONOMY below)

… entrepreneurs who had lower perceived role centrality and were part of a larger founding team were more inclined to use emotion-based coping than those who started their venture in smaller teams. We believe these insights can help in training entrepreneurs in the development of effective coping strategies. Individuals with perceived high centrality of their entrepreneurial role are more likely to effectively engage in coping to optimise their venture”s performance and their own psychological well being.

(Drnovšek et al., 2010)

Prefer the ‘approach’ path instead of the ‘avoid’ path.

It is good for your well-being to work towards achieving something, rather than preventing something from happening.

[One] concern is whether one’s goal activities are characterized by approach or avoidance motivational systems. Elliot & Sheldon (1997), for example, classified goals as approach or avoidance and then examined the effects of goal progress over a short-term period. Pursuit of avoidance goals was associated with both poorer goal progress and with lower well-being. Elliot et al (1997) similarly showed that people whose personal goals contained a higher proportion of avoidance had lower SWB [Subjective Well Being]. They also demonstrated the association between neuroticism and avoidance goals, but showed that the impact of avoidance regulation was evident even when controlling for neuroticism. Carver & Scheier (1999) also presented research linking approach goals (positively) and avoidance goals (negatively) to well-being outcomes.

(Ryan & Deci, 2001)

AUTONOMY: Make a point of prefering autonomous goals rather than heteronomous goals (goals imposed/expected by others).

Another actively researched issue concerns how autonomous one is in pursuing goals. SDT in particular has taken a strong stand on this by proposing that only self-endorsed goals will enhance well-being, so pursuit of heteronomous goals, even when done efficaciously, will not. The relative autonomy of personal goals has, accordingly, been shown repeatedly to be predictive of well-being outcomes controlling for goal efficacy at both between-person and within-person levels of analysis (Ryan & Deci 2000). Interestingly this pattern of findings has been supported in cross-cultural research, suggesting that the relative autonomy of one’s pursuits matters whether one is collectivistic or individualistic, male or female (e.g. V Chirkov & RM Ryan 2001; Hayamizu 1997, Vallerand 1997).
Sheldon & Elliot (1999) developed a self-concordance model of how autonomy relates to well-being. Self-concordant goals are those that fulfill basic needs and are aligned with one’s true self. These goals are well-internalized and therefore autonomous, and they emanate from intrinsic or identified motivations. Goals that are not self-concordant encompass external or introjected motivation, and are ei- ther unrelated or indirectly related to need fulfillment. Sheldon & Elliot found that, although goal attainment in itself was associated with greater well-being, this effect was significantly weaker when the attained goals were not self-concordant. People who attained more self-concordant goals had more need-satisfying experi- ences, and this greater need satisfaction was predictive of greater SWB. Similarly, Sheldon & Kasser (1998) studied progress toward goals in a longitudinal design, finding that goal progress was associated with enhanced SWB and lower symp- toms of depression. However, the impact of goal progress was again moderated by goal concordance. Goals that were poorly integrated to the self, whose focus was not related to basic psychological needs, conveyed less SWB benefits, even when achieved.

(Ryan & Deci, 2001)

… freely chosen activities increase happiness, while obligatory activities lower it (Csikszentmihalyi & Hunter, 2003).

(Aaker et al., 2010)

... we find additional evidence that entrepreneurs also derive utility from things other than financial success. In particular, the achievement of independence and creativity is highly correlated with start-up satisfaction.
... our results indicate that forcing people into situations when they cannot choose among alternatives is likely to result in significant utility losses, independent of other factors.

(Block & Koellinger, 2009)

AUTONOMY: Make sure you have spare discretionary time — even at financial cost.

having spare time and perceiving control over how to spend that time (i.e. discretionary time) has been shown to have a strong and consistent effect on life satisfaction and happiness, even controlling for the actual amount of free time one has (Eriksson, Rice, & Goodin, 2007; Goodin, Rice, Parpo, & Eriksson, 2008).
Therefore, increase your discretionary time, even if it requires monetary resources. And if you can't afford to, focus on the present moment, breathe more slowly, and spend the little time that you have in meaningful ways.

(Aaker et al., 2010)

Be passionate, but don’t obsess. “Passion Does Make a Difference to People’s Well-Being” (Philippe, Vallerand, & Lavigne, 2009)

Key terms: hedonic well-being; eudaimonic well-being

Recent research has begun to distinguish two aspects of subjective well-being. Emotional [hedonic] well-being refers to the emotional quality of an individual’s everyday experience—the frequency and intensity of ex- periences of joy, stress, sadness, anger, and affection that make one’s life pleasant or unpleasant. Life evaluation [eudaimonic well-being] refers to the thoughts that people have about their life when they think about it.

(Kahneman & Deaton, 2010)

The results of two studies provided support for the idea that being harmoniously passionate for an activity contributes significantly to both hedonic and eudaimonic well-being, while being obsessively passionate or not being passionate for any activity does not contribute to well-being at all.
Indeed, merely engaging in a given activity without passion (i.e. being non-passionate) led to the lowest scores on both hedonic and eudaimonic well-being in Study 1 and to the highest decreases in vitality in Study 2 (although no significant differences were found between non-passionate and obsessively passionate people in these studies).
harmoniously passionate people scored significantly higher than obsessively passionate and non-passionate people on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being (Study 1).
only harmoniously passionate people showed a significant increase in vitality over a 1-year period, while obsessively passionate participants showed a slight decrease and non- passionate participants an even larger decrease (Study 2).
only harmonious passion positively predicts well-being over time, while obsessive passion is either negatively associated or unrelated to it (Rousseau & Vallerand, 2003, 2008; Vallerand et al., 2008, Study 2; Vallerand et al., 2007, Studies 1 and 2).
it would appear that an obsessively passionate or non-passionate engagement does not contribute to well-being, and may even have a cost, as shown by the decreases in vitality found in Study 2 for obsessively passionate and non-passionate people.

(Philippe et al., 2009)

Do work that you enjoy doing. Flow.

the accomplishment of goals and the ability to be lost in a task (Csikszentmihalyi and Csikszentmihalyi 1988) seem to be correlated with happiness.

(Nicolao, Irwin, & Goodman, 2009)

Sheldon and Lyubomirsky (2007) have posited that there is much room for improvement in one’s happiness. They suggest that while the largest part of our level of happiness is preset by our genetic endowment (around 50%), some 40 per cent is still modifiable (the last 10% is due to uncontrollable circumstances) and the best way to do this is through what they call “intentional activity engagement”.
They recommend engaging in interesting, fun activities that fit one’s personality and dispositions, that can vary in content, and that are not merely engaged in as a routine but when people feel like doing it. We agree with such a recommendation, especially as Sheldon and Lyubomirsky’s definition of intentional activity is rather close to that of harmonious passion.

(Philippe et al., 2009)

In Kasser’s view, the secret to SWB is meeting one’s intrinsic needs, which means pursuing intrinsic goals out of an intrinsic motivation. In this way, it is similar to Csikszentmihalyi’s (1999) view that happiness stems from “flow” experiences, which are also intrinsically motivated. I contend that the shift toward individualistic cultures that accompanies economic development helps people create life-styles that are consis- tent with their preferences and aptitudes (Veenhoven, 1999), and in so doing pursue their intrinsic needs.

(Ahuvia, 2002)

Set goals that are reasonably challenging and reasonably achievable.

One issue concerns the level of challenge posed by one’s goals. When life goals are nonoptimally challenging—either too easy or too difficult—positive affect [emotional well-being] is lower (Csikszentmihalyi & Csikszentmihalyi 1988). Low expectations of success have also been associated with high negative affect (Emmons 1986),

(Ryan & Deci, 2001)

Prefer intrinsic (vs. extrinsic) goals

Definition:

Psychologists make a distinction between two important kinds of goals—intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic goals involve activities and projects that are personally rewarding and meaningful, and that satisfy people's basic needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy (Kasser & Ryan, 1993, 1996; see Ryan & Deci, 2000, for a review). By contrast, extrinsic goals involve strivings for fame, money, or favorable outward appearances. Research suggests that positive events generated by the fulfillment of intrinsic goals (e.g., making purchases for others rather than yourself) produce more happiness than those generated by extrinsic goals (Dunn, Aknin & Norton, 2008; see also Kasser, 2002; cf. Dunn et al., 2011).

(Chancellor & Lyubomirsky, 2011)

Because high aspirations undermine the benefits of a positive change, are people simply better off with few goals and lowered aspirations? Not necessarily. Ambitious goals held before beginning a new venture motivate people to work harder on that venture and improve their overall performance (Heath, Larrick & Wu, 1999). Individuals would, however, be happier if they focused their monies and efforts on meaningful, intrinsic goals and abandoned extrinsic ones.
Extrinsic goals undermine well-being in several ways. First, by their very nature, extrinsic goals do not satisfy people's basic needs directly, if at all. Instead, much like an addiction (Koob & Le Moal, 2001), such goals lead to ever-increasing desires for psychologically unfulfilling commodities (Myers, 2000). Second, extrinsic goals appear to be incompatible with close, meaningful relationships. Those who pursue extrinsic goals report poorer relationships (Kasser & Ryan, 2001). Indeed, even being reminded of money, as Dunn and colleagues (2011) mention, can cause people to be less prosocial and less generous (Vohs, Mead & Goode, 2006), as well as to be perceived as less friendly and likable by others (Vohs, 2010).
... over-reliance on external contingencies such as becoming famous, wealthy, or attractive may lead to fragile self-worth (Sheldon, Ryan, Deci & Kasser, 2004). For example, a student seeking a law degree from a prestigious and pricey school with the aim of gaining peer respect might become hopelessly depressed if not admitted. Finally, due to limits of attention, time, and energy, extrinsic goals can lead to the neglect of intrinsic pursuits, which are associated with higher well-being (Vohs et al., 2006).
An entrepreneur investing in a new company with the aim of striking it rich might neglect his true interests and hobbies to invest all his energy into his business, and thus miss the need-satisfying personal growth, flow, and joy derived from his more authentic pursuits.
Fittingly expressing the futility and unhappiness wrapped up in pursuing extrinsic goals, a notorious New York tabloid editor confessed that he was “part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest to make money they don't want to buy things they don't need to impress people they dislike” (Gauvreau, 1941). As Benjamin Franklin well knew, money is best directed to goals that directly satisfy personal needs such as affiliation, autonomy, and competence rather than expensive pursuits that are unfulfilling and distracting in the end.
In contrast, intrinsic goals, such as building close relationships, making new self-discoveries, and investing in the community, directly activate feelings of satisfaction and con- tentment, which are more likely to be appreciated and less likely to be taken for granted. Dunn and colleagues (2011) rightfully emphasize the link between generosity and well- being, recommending that, to follow the example of Warren Buffett, people spend their money on others rather them themselves.
Intrinsic goals can also trigger “upward spirals”— for example, streams of positive moods and prosocial behavior that gain momentum and reinforce one another as they unfold (Lyubomirsky, King, & Diener, 2005; Norton, Dunn, Aknin & Sandstrom, 2009; Otake, Shimai, Tanaka-Matsumi, Otsui & Fredrickson, 2006).

(Chancellor & Lyubomirsky, 2011)


MATERIALISM AND PURCHASING

The Hedonic Treadmill: We adapt to life changes. Many things that give pleasure will soon cease to do so, thereby driving us to seek more, and more…

The “pursuit of happiness” is central to the U.S. worldview, yet the very expression also illustrates a paradox of that worldview: Perhaps when one [naively] pursues happiness too single-mindedly, one fails to notice and take advantage of what one already has. In other words, [naively] striving for ever greater happiness may set one on a hedonic treadmill to nowhere. (More on this below)

(Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2012)

Prefer experiential purchases; avoid materialistic goals. It is better to collect (positive) experiences than to collect things.

(But do not keep repeating the same positive experience, lest hedonic adaptation set in quicker. See "Stretching Happiness" farther down.)

Experiential activities are inherently more social (Caprariello & Reis, 2010; Van Boven & Gilovich, 2003) and for this reason fulfill the psychological need for relatedness (Howell & Hill, 2009).

(Howell et al., 2012)

Discretionary experiential purchases ostensibly foster more social contact than discretionary material purchases (Millar & Thomas 2009; Van Boven, 2005), which is a key component to happiness (Argyle, 2001).
Research has demonstrated that people are happier with experiential purchases compared to material items.
Experiential purchases are more central to positive self-identity than material purchases.
Further, experiential purchases may satisfy the personal needs of development and growth more than material acquisitions (Kasser & Ryan, 1996).

(Thomas, 2010)

... we show that on average the most happiness obtained through purchasing is likely to be obtained through experiential purchases that turn out well.
... positive social interaction is a major source of happiness; many experiential purchases involve activities with other people, including family.

(Nicolao et al., 2009)

Materialism might lead to lower well-being because materialistic people tend to downplay the importance of social relationships and to have a large gap between their incomes and material aspirations (Solberg, Diener, & Robinson, 2004).

(Diener & Seligman, 2004)

Several studies have documented that a materialistic lifestyle is associated with diminished subjective well-being.
... consistent with previous research, we found that materialism is negatively correlated with life satisfaction (Belk 1984, 1985; Burroughs and Rindfleisch 2002; Christopher et al. 2007; Ryan and Dziurawiec 2001; Wright and Larsen 1993).
... in line with previous research (Christopher and Schlenker 2004; Chris- topher et al. 2009). High materialistic consumers experience negative emotions more frequently than low materialistic consumers.

(Hudders & Pandelaere, 2011)

... we administered three widely used measures of a materialistic value orientation to 92 business students in Singapore. As expected, those students who had strongly internalized materialistic values also reported lowered self-actualization, vitality and happiness, as well as increased anxiety, physical symptomatology, and unhappiness. (Kasser & Ahuvia, 2002)
past research demonstrating that materialistic values are associated with experiences of general and existential insecurity (Pyszczynski et al., 1997; Rindfleisch et al., 2009).

(Howell et al., 2012)

... positive experiences not only live on in memories but also lend themselves to even more positive reinterpretations over time as the negative aspects of them fade

(Nicolao et al., 2009)

... when security needs are met, it may be more adaptive to broaden one’s experience and acquire new knowledge, skills, and relationships that often accompany experiential purchases. These experiences, if they do not arouse competing security concerns, may then provide increased SWB with accompanying reductions in feelings of anxiety and insecurity, encouraging further experiential purchases, and resulting in the ‘upward spiral’ depicted in our model. In this way, the benefits of an experiential purchasing tendency may accrue over a lifetime and individuals may develop stable purchasing habits.

(Howell et al., 2012)

In sum, evidence suggests that when looking to spend money, the most satisfying pursuits should involve learning new skills (e.g., mastering a new instrument or learning a foreign language), spending time with others (e.g., taking out one's family to dinner or having coffee with a friend), or doing something good for someone else (e.g., buying Christmas decorations for an elderly neighbor or sending a care package to a sick friend).

(Chancellor & Lyubomirsky, 2011)

We provide evidence that this purchase type by valence interaction is driven by the fact that consumers adapt more slowly to experiential purchases than to material purchases, leading to both greater happiness and greater unhappiness for experiential purchases.
adaptation happens more quickly for material purchases than for experiential purchases.

(Nicolao et al., 2009)

Don’t engage in ‘comparison shopping.’ And don’t place much stock in the happiness potential of any one positive change.

Comparison shopping makes us aware of previously unimportant differences and makes us forget the salient qualities of what we want.

Sites like [bizrate.com] offer consumers the opportunity to search for everything [...], comparing a vast range of available options within a given category. [...] Recent research suggests that comparison shopping may sometimes come at a cost. By altering the psychological context in which decisions are made, comparison shopping may distract consumers from attributes of a product that will be important for their happiness, focusing their attention instead on attributes that distinguish the available options.
Another problem with comparison shopping is that the comparisons we make when we are shopping are not the same comparisons we will make when we consume what we shopped for (Hsee, Loewenstein, Blount, & Bazerman, 1999; Hsee & Zhang, 2004).
One of the dangers of comparison shopping, then, is that the options we don't choose typically recede into the past and are no longer used as standards for comparison.
A similar process is likely to unfold in the real estate market. Before purchasing a home, people typically attend scores of open houses and viewings, scrutinizing spec sheets for information about each property's features. Through this process of comparison shopping, the features that distinguish one home from another may come to loom large, while their similarities fade into the background. As a result, home buyers might over- estimate the hedonic consequences of living in a big, beautiful house in a great location versus a more modest home, leading them to take out a larger loan than they can truly afford (potentially sowing the seeds for a nationwide financial crisis).
This suggests that consumers who expect a single purchase to have a lasting impact on their happiness might make more realistic predictions if they simply thought about a typical day in their life.
Conclusion When asked to take stock of their lives, people with more money report being a good deal more satisfied [eudamonic well being]. But when asked how happy they are at the moment, people with more money are barely different than those with less [hedonic well being] (Diener, Ng, Harter, & Arora, 2010). This suggests that our money provides us with satisfaction when we think about it, but not when we use it. That shouldn't happen. Money can buy many, if not most, if not all of the things that make people happy, and if it doesn't, then the fault is ours. We believe that psychologists can teach people to spend their money in ways that will indeed increase their happiness, and we hope we've done a bit of that here.

(Dunn et al., 2011)

When people consider the impact of any single factor on their well-being—not only income—they are prone to exaggerate its importance. We refer to this tendency as the focusing illusion.

(Kahneman, 2006)

'Follow the herd.' (Dunn et al., 2011)

Research suggests that the best way to predict how much we will enjoy an experience is to see how much someone else enjoyed it. In one study, Gilbert, Killingsworth, Eyre, and Wilson (2009) asked women to predict how much they would enjoy a speed date with a particular man. Some of the women were shown the man's photograph and autobiography, while others were shown only a rating of how much a previous woman had enjoyed a speed date with the same man a few minutes earlier. Although the vast majority of the participants expected that those who were shown the photograph and autobiography would make more accurate predictions than those who were shown the rating, precisely the opposite was the case. Indeed, relative to seeing the photograph and autobiography, seeing the rating reduced inaccuracy by about 50%. It appears that the 17th century writer François de La Rochefoucauld was correct when he wrote: “Before we set our hearts too much upon anything, let us first examine how happy those are who already possess it.”

(Dunn et al., 2011)


INTERPERSONAL

Socialize — with the right people.

... the effects of wealth are not large, and they are dwarfed by other influences, such as those of personality and social relationships.

(Diener & Seligman, 2004)

... it is not only whether you spend your time with others that influences your happiness, but also who you spend your time with. Interaction partners associated with the greatest happiness levels include friends, family, and significant others, whereas bosses and co-workers tend to be associated with the least happiness (Kahneman et al., 2004).
social leisure activities contribute more to happiness than solitary ones (Reyes-Garcia et al., 2009).
Furthermore, people who frequently engage in social activities experience higher levels of happiness than people who participate in social activities less often (Lloyd & Auld, 2002), and being with others typically improves the quality of an experience (whereas being alone makes most people sad, lonely, or both; Csikszentmihalyi & Larson, 1984; Lewinsohn, Sullivan, & Grosscup, 1982).

(Aaker et al., 2010)

Compared with the less happy groups, the happiest respondents did not exercise significantly more, participate in religious activities significantly more, or experience more objectively defined good events. No variable was sufficient for happiness, but good social relations were necessary.
Our findings suggest that very happy people have rich and satisfying social relationships and spend little time alone relative to average people. […] In contrast, unhappy people have social relationships that are significantly worse than average.

(Diener & Seligman, 2002)

Income and education are more closely related to life evaluation, but health, care giving, loneliness, and smoking are relatively stronger predictors of daily emotions.

(Kahneman & Deaton, 2010)

Associate with happy people.

... research has also shown that our relationships with weak ties, and even strangers, can affect our happiness. Using a large-scale, longitudinal dataset, Fowler and Christakis [5] suggested that happiness spreads throughout social networks,extending up to three degrees of separation: a person becomes happier if their friend’s friend’s friend becomes happier, even if they don’t know that person.

(Aknin, Sandstrom, Dunn, & Norton, 2011b)

People who are surrounded by many happy people and those who are central in the network are more likely to become happy in the future. Longitudinal statistical models suggest that clusters of happiness result from the spread of happiness and not just a tendency for people to associate with similar individuals. A friend who lives within a mile (about 1.6 km) and who becomes happy increases the probability that a person is happy by 25% (95% confidence interval 1% to 57%). Similar effects are seen in coresident spouses (8%, 0.2% to 16%), siblings who live within a mile (14%, 1% to 28%), and next door neighbours (34%, 7% to 70%). Effects are not seen between coworkers. The effect decays with time and with geographical separation.

(Fowler & Christakis, 2008)

Give the people around you opportunities to be generous. Ask them for favors.

You can possibly make people around you happier by allowing them to be kind and generous, and you want to surround yourself with happy people (see above). Aside from making them happier, you will also improve your relationship with them via the Benjamin Franklin effect, which — unintuitively — makes people like you more if you ask them for favors.

Be actively kind (and occasionaly reminisce about your recent acts of kindness).

Subjective happiness was increased simply by counting one’s own acts of kindness for one week.
Happy people became more kind and grateful through the counting kindnesses intervention.
Our results further suggest that a reciprocal relationship may exist between kindness and happiness, as has been shown for gratitude and happiness [see below].

(Otake et al., 2006)


STRETCHING HAPPINESS (fighting hedonic adaptation)

Hedonic adaptation — definition:

The pleasure of success and the ignominy of failure abate with time. So does the thrill of a new sports car, the pain over a failed romance, the delight over a promotion, and the distress of a scary diagnosis. This phenomenon, known as hedonic adaptation (HA), has drawn increasing interest from both psychologists and economists (e.g., Diener, Lucas, & Scollon, 2006; Easterlin, 2006; Frederick & Loewenstein, 1999; Kahneman & Thaler, 2006; Lucas, 2007a; Lyubomirsky, 2011; Lyubomirsky, Sheldon, & Schkade, 2005; Wilson & Gilbert, 2008).

(Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2012)

Choose smaller, more frequent successes rather than larger ones.

Even big positive changes can get old fast, and soon stop bringing happiness.

...every one of the published studies evidences fairly rapid and apparently complete adaptation to positive changes. The most widely-cited study is that of Brickman and his colleagues (1978), who reported that lottery winners were no happier up to 18 months after the news than those who had experienced no windfall.

(Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2012)

Go for variety and surprise. Don’t keep doing the same thing.

...variable stimuli resist adaptation more than do unchanging stimuli (see also Wilson & Gilbert, 2008).

(Chancellor & Lyubomirsky, 2011)

...these findings support the notion that variety and surprise spice up life in ways that sustain well-being (Sheldon et al., in press; Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2006, 2009; Wilson, Centerbar, Kermer, & Gilbert, 2005)”

(Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2012)

Savor the anticipation. Delay consumption. Actively anticipate good experiences.

Research in the field of neuroscience has shown that the part of the brain responsible for feeling pleasure, the mesolimbic dopamine system, can be activated when merely thinking about something pleasurable, such as drinking one's favorite brand of beer (McClure, Li, Tomlin, Cypert, Montague, & Montague, 2004) or driving one's favorite type of sports car (Erk, Spitzer, Wunderlich, Galley, & Walter, 2002).
... the brain sometimes enjoys anticipating a reward more than receiving the reward (Loewenstein, 1987; Berns, McClure, Pagnoni, & Montague, 2001).
... the pleasure derived from window shopping for a dress may exceed the pleasure from actually acquiring the dress.

(Aaker et al., 2010)

(Perhaps the above can inform the discourse on the [ir]rationality of lotteries.)

Divide positive experiences into smaller pleasures, if possible.

Dividing consumption into smaller doses and separating it out over time can multiply [the pleasure of] “first bites,” and subsequently, the enjoyment. Savoring a chocolate bar could be as simple as dividing it into squares and eating one piece per day, instead of devouring it all in a single sitting. Research supports the idea that breaks are beneficial for positive experiences, such as enjoying a television program, but detrimental for negative experiences, such as enduring a dental drill (Nelson, Meyvis & Galak, 2009).

(Chancellor & Lyubomirsky, 2011)

Dividing into smaller doses also increases the amount of pleasurable anticipation. See previous subsection.

Corollary: Conclude negative experiences as soon as possible.

Don’t "think about it tomorrow.” Prolongation increases the effect of both negative and positive experiences, and bad is stronger than good:

Although the same hedonic adaptation process is involved in both positive and negative experiences, an important asymme- try exists between the two that further complicates efforts to remain happy, especially if a positive change comes at a high financial cost. To sum up almost two decades of research, bad is stronger than good (Baumeister, Bratslavsky, Finkenauer & Vohs, 2001; see also Taylor, 1991), or as Einstein quipped, “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute.” [...] positive changes are weaker than negative changes, and that their effects also evaporate more quickly (e.g., Nezlek & Gable, 2001; Sheldon, Ryan & Reis, 1996; see also Oishi, Diener, Choi, Kim-Prieto & Choi, 2007).

(Chancellor & Lyubomirsky, 2011)

Make a point of avoiding experiences that make you feel bad.

Well-being is about more than just frequently feeling good—it is also about infrequently feeling bad (Diener, Suh, Lucas & Smith, 1999).
All else being equal, the elimination of negative experiences could provide a three- to five-fold hedonic return on investment over the creation of positive experiences, due to positive/negative asymmetry (e.g., David, Green, Martin & Suls, 1997; Fredrickson & Losada, 2005; Gottman, 1994).

(Chancellor & Lyubomirsky, 2011)

APPRECIATION

Be grateful. Count your blessings (literally). Recycle happiness. Reminisce about good experiences.

A number of experiments have demonstrated that the regular practice of gratitude—a practice closely related to and often indistinguishable from appreciation and savoring—brings about significant increases in well-being when performed over the course of 1 to 12 consecutive weeks. For example, relative to performing neutral activities, the intentional and effortful practice of “counting one's blessings” once a week (Emmons & McCullough, 2003; Froh, Sefick & Emmons, 2008; Lyubo- mirsky, Sheldon, & Schkade, 2005) or penning appreciation letters to individuals who have been kind and meaningful (Boehm, Lyubomirsky, & Sheldon, in press; Lyubomirsky, Dickerhoof, Boehm, & Sheldon, in press; Seligman, Steen, Park & Peterson, 2005) has been shown to produce increases in happiness for as long as 6 months.

(Chancellor & Lyubomirsky, 2011)

Think of counterfactuals. (“If I didn’t have this, what do I lose?”)

Another cognitive exercise that directs attention toward existing positive changes or events is counterfactual thinking. This strategy involves mentally subtracting a purchased positive experience from ever having taken place, and enumerating all the subsequent blessings that also would have disappeared (Koo, Algoe, Wilson, & Gilbert, 2008).

(Chancellor & Lyubomirsky, 2011)

Breathe deeply. Expand your time — by slowing down.

[People feel less rushed and hurried when they] simply breathe more deeply. In one study, subjects who were instructed to take long and slow breaths (vs. short and quick ones) for 5 minutes not only felt there was more time available to get things done, but also perceived their day to be longer.

(Aaker et al., 2010)

Stay in the present.

One possible benefit of being present-focused is that thinking about the present moment (vs. the future) slows down the perceived passage of time, allowing people to feel less rushed and hurried (Rudd & Aaker, 2010).

(Aaker et al., 2010)


OPTIMAL HAPPIFICATION

Actively want to be happier. Motivation and investment matter.

First, and most important, we found that to become happier, people need both a will and a proper way. The will can come from motivation, expectations, and diligence. The proper way comes from performing the “right” activity, not merely a placebo. Accordingly, we found that motivation and investment in becoming a happier person matters. That is, expressing gratitude and optimism did not generally increase well-being unless a person was truly cognizant of the exercises’ purpose and motivated to improve his or her happiness. Second, effortful pursuit of happiness activities was found to be important to improving and maintaining well- being.
... happiness interventions are more than just placebos, but […] they are most successful when participants know about, endorse, and commit to the intervention.
According to our model of well-being change (Lyubomirsky, Sheldon, et al., 2005; Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2004), sustainable increases in happiness are possible, but only if pursued under optimal conditions, such as when people are motivated to perform a positive activity, when they bring to bear effort and persistence, and when the activity is a legitimately efficacious one.

(Lyubomirsky et al., 2011)

Learn about the science of happiness. Internalize the recommendations in this article and in here.

... people often hold incorrect intuitive theories about the determinants of happiness. For instance, they overestimate the impact of specific life events on their experienced well-being with regard to intensity, as well as with regard to duration. (see also Comparison Shopping above)
... four major sources for systematic over- and undervaluation of choice options that can be distinguished: (i) the underestimation of adaptation, (ii) distorted memory of past experiences, (iii) the rationalization of decisions, and (iv) false intuitive theories about the sources of future utility.

(Quoidbach et al., 2010)

Money is an opportunity for happiness, but it is an opportunity that people routinely squander because the things they think will make them happy often don’t.
It is not surprising when wealthy people who know nothing about wine end up with cellars that aren't that much better stocked than their neighbors', and it should not be surprising when wealthy people who know nothing about happiness end up with lives that aren't that much happier than anyone else's.

(Dunn et al., 2011)


EXTRA CONSIDERATIONS

Happiness predicts [future] income.

(Diener & Seligman, 2004)

(^But try not to think of it that way!)

... we found that with all but one specification, initial happiness levels were positively and significantly correlated with future earnings. […] An additional finding is that the effects of initial period happiness on future income and on future happiness seem to be more consistent across all income groups than are the effects of initial period income on either future income and future happiness. The effects of initial period income seem more important for those at higher levels of income.
The studies by psychologists that find that happiness has positive effects on future income also find that these effects are stronger at the higher end of the income scale. See Diener and Biswas-Diener (1999).

(Graham, Eggers & Sukhtankar, 2004)

... higher cheerfulness in the first year of college correlated with higher income 19 years or so later, when respondents reached their late 30s; this effect was greatest for those who came from the most affluent families

(Diener & Seligman, 2004)

It will be easier to stay happy when you become happier

... our findings also dovetail with those of Cohn and Fredrickson (in press) by demonstrating that initial happiness gains can cause a happiness intervention to become self-reinforcing.

(Aknin, Dunn, & Norton, 2011a)

Happiness Interventions Work!

Fordyce (1977, 1983) created an intervention program based on the idea that people's subjective well-being can be increased if they learn to imitate the traits of happy people, such as being organized, keeping busy, spending more time socializing, developing a positive outlook, and working on a healthy personality. Fordyce found that the program produced increases in happiness compared to a placebo control, as ell as compared to participants in conditions receiving only partial information. Most impressive, he found lasting effects of the intervention in follow-up evaluation 9-28 months after the study.

(Diener et al., 2009)

Recently, a number of additional effective interventions on happiness have been reported, ranging from the kindness interventions (Otake, Shimai, Tanaca-Matumi, Otsui, & Fredrickson, 2006) and gratitude interventions (Emmons & McCulough, 2003) to variants of the writing intervention (King, 2001; Lyubomirsky, Sousa, & Dickerhoof, 2006). Recent intervention studies are clearly promising. However, more diverse dependent variables and measuring instruments would be desirabe, as well as explorations of which interventions are most beneficial, and why.

(Diener et al., 2009)

Extra extra: Cultural Differences

Veenhoven (1999) found that among poor countries, individualism was negatively associated with happiness; whereas among richer countries, individualism was positively associated with happiness. This suggests that economic growth is part of a complex system of modernization that needs to be seen holistically. Collectivism may exist in poorer countries because it is highly functional in that environment, but it may give way to more individualism as societies modernize and the needs of those societies change. Overall, individualism/collectivism stands out as an extremely promising construct for explaining differences in national average levels of SWB, when investigated holistically as part of the larger social system (Cummins, 1998; Myers and Diener, 1995).
... economic development increases SWB by creating a cultural environment where individuals make choices to maximize their happiness rather than meet social obligations (Coleman, 1990; Galbraith, 1992; Triandis, 1989; Triandis et al., 1990; Veenhoven, 1999; Watkins and Liu, 1996). This cultural transformation away from obligation and toward the pursuit of happiness is part of a broader transition away from collectivism and toward individualist cultural values and forms of social organization.
Cross-cultural research shows that values like “enjoying life” and leading “an exciting life” are stronger in individualist societies, whereas “social recognition,” “preserving my public image,” being “humble,” and “honoring parents and elders” are particularly strong in collectivist societies (Triandis et al., 1990, p. 1015). There is no more reason to think that people seek social recognition with the ultimate goal of personal happiness, than there is to think that people seek happiness with the ultimate goal of getting others to think well of them for having such a pleasant affect.

(Ahuvia, 2002)


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