Christmas Shopping Can Promote Happiness

‘Tis always the season for psychology studies! I found out about this one on a post on Christmas psychology studies by Psyblog. Published in Science back in 2008, this research claims that spending money on other people promotes more happiness that spending money on oneself. Is it really possible to buy ourselves some happiness by giving other people presents?

There is vast research on the effect of money on happiness, and whilst the positive impact of a higher income on happiness is consistently found, the effect is surprisingly weak. Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Canada claim that a person’s happiness is increased by pro-social behaviour, for instance spending time with friends, or donating to charity; essentially acts from which other people can benefit. It seems this is the sort of behaviour that can decrease with high disposable income.

Continue reading