Monday, July 19, 2010

Can Money Buy Happiness?

Can Money Buy Happiness?

Are you happy? Are you happy with your country? Did the money you have make you happy?

A worldwide survey of more than 136,000 people in 132 countries included questions about happiness and income, and the results reveal that while life satisfaction usually rises with income, positive feelings don't necessarily follow, researchers report.

The findings, from an analysis of data gathered in the first Gallup World Poll, appear this month in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

"The public always wonders: Does money make you happy?" said University of Illinois professor emeritus of psychology Ed Diener, a senior scientist with the Gallup Organization. "This study shows that it all depends on how you define happiness, because if you look at life satisfaction, how you evaluate your life as a whole, you see a pretty strong correlation around the world between income and happiness," he said. "On the other hand it's pretty shocking how small the correlation is with positive feelings and enjoying yourself."

Like previous studies, the new analysis found that life evaluation, or life satisfaction, rises with personal and national income. But positive feelings, which also increase somewhat as income rises, are much more strongly associated with other factors, such as feeling respected, having autonomy and social support, and working at a fulfilling job.

This is the first "happiness" study of the world to differentiate between life satisfaction, the philosophical belief that your life is going well, and the day-to-day positive or negative feelings that one experiences, Diener said.

"Everybody has been looking at just life satisfaction and income," he said. "And while it is true that getting richer will make you more satisfied with your life, it may not have the big impact we thought on enjoying life."


Researchers at the University of British Columbia and the Harvard Business School have found that it's possible to buy happiness after all: when you spend money on others.n a series of studies, UBC Asst. Prof. Elizabeth Dunn found that individuals report significantly greater happiness if they spend money "pro-socially" -- that is on gifts for others or charitable donations -- rather than spending on themselves. Her findings will appear in the March 21 edition of the journal Science.


The most happy country in the world

Quantifying happiness isn't an easy task. Researchers at the Gallup World Poll went about it by surveying thousands of respondents in 155 countries, between 2005 and 2009, in order to measure two types of well-being.

The five happiest countries in the world--Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands--are all clustered in the same region, and all enjoy high levels of prosperity. The Scandinavian countries do really well. One theory why is that they have their basic needs taken care of to a higher degree than other countries. Those basic needs explain the relationship between income and well-being.

What was very significant in the ranking is ,Costa Rica is the sixth happiest country in the world and the happiest country in the Americas. According to survey, 63% of the population are happy. It beat out other richer countries like the United States. That's because social networks in Costa Rica are tight, allowing individuals to feel happy with their lot, regardless of financial success.

USA is ranked only 14th, lower than Canada(8th), Panama(12th), Brazil(12th),America is not happiest country in the world.

The full list appeared in

Malaysia & Philippines ranked 94th, even lower than Bangladesh which ranked No. 91th! Indonesia 85th, Singapore, Hong Kong & Japan is ranked 81st, Thailand 79th, South Korea 56th, Pakistan 58th. The highest Asian country is New Zealand 6th, Israel & Australia 8th, the other Asian countries higher than S Korea are mainly Arab oil producing countries, except Turkmenistan(18th). So for non oil producing Arab countries, only Turkmenistan, S Korea and Pakistan marginally higher than 50% of 155 countries, other Asian countries. Malaysia ranked lower than 2/3 of the countries. One of the most unhappy countries in the world.

Why Malaysian is not happy? when they are provided with a lot of subsidies, privileges to the majority(61.4%), political stability(ruled by one coalition party since independence)and having rich resources, government provided education and medical services, and country with no major natural disaster. The citizen have all the criteria to be happy, yet they are not happy. Something is wrong some where. Based on the survey, 80% of population is not happy and struggling, 5% is suffering, with total 85% unhappy citizen. Only 15% is happy and thriving. What are the factors that made the citizen unhappy????. Why the highest percentage are not happy? Is the country going to the right direction?. A government of a democracy country is government for the people, if the people of the country they ruled are not happy, then the government failed their KPI or performance assessment. The leaders of the nation need to do more home work of soul searching.

Money is a necessity, but it is not all; however without money, nothing can move in life. So can money buy you happiness?....what is your value on money, satisfaction, and happiness?

Just ponder......if you have all the money in the world, will you be happy?.....

No comments:

Post a Comment