Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research says being top dog makes us happier than simply getting top dollar

06.10.2003


New research by a group of economists and psychology researchers at the University of Warwick reveals that our rank position within an organisation has a bigger effect on our happiness within that job than the happiness generated by our actual level of pay. In short being top dog makes us happier than simply getting top dollar.

The researchers, University of Warwick Economists Professor Andrew Oswald and Dr Jonathan.Gardner (Joanthan now with Watson Wyatt) and University of Warwick psychology researchers Professor Gordon . Brown and Jing Qian studied data from 16,266 individuals from 886 separate actual workplaces, and also carried out two further psychological experiments. They presented their findings recently to a conference at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

The results from the analysis of happiness, pay and rank data from the 16,266 individuals found that the level of actual pay, or the average level of pay in an organisation, had very little effect on how happy people were with the level of respect they had within that organisation. It also had little effect on how happy people were with their achievements within that organisation."



However when one looked at people’s overall rank position the researchers found that did produce a significant impact on both how happy people were with the level of respect they had within that organisation and how happy people were with their achievements. When asked to rank how happy they were with their pay the researchers found that rank within an organisation had 50%-60% more effect on that level of happiness than the actual amount that people were paid!

In the first of the psychological experiments the research team asked a group of students to rank their satisfaction with a level of pay if it was offered to them as a starting graduate salary. The students were shown the same level of starting salaries but in a range of tables so, for instance, some saw a salary of £19.5K positioned as the fifth lowest wage in table whereas others saw that salary in a table as the second lowest. The experiment subjects clearly demonstrated that even if actual pay levels for everyone were exactly the same placing them in different rank orders created different levels of happiness.

In a second experiment students heard tones from a range of nine musical tones and were asked to judge were each tone came in that range. They were given a small cash reward for each tone judgement and then also asked to say how happy they were with that reward (of which they could actually keep a small percentage of at the end of the experiment). However the students were presented with different award distributions- a high-reward one in which they were rewarded with a number of pounds and a low distribution in which the same numbers were used but presented as pennies. The researchers found a clear negative correlation between current satisfaction rating and preceding reward values. The results indicated that reward satisfaction ratings were determined partly by comparison with other, recently-presented, rewards. A given level of reward produces a higher satisfaction rating if lower rewards have been received and rated in the recent past

For further information contact:
Professor Andrew Oswald 024 76 523510
University of Warwick

Andrew Oswald | University of Warwick
Further information:
http://www.communicate.warwick.ac.uk/index.cfm?page=pressrelease&id=1345

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>