Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Money cannot buy you happiness

30.01.2007
Money cannot buy you happiness, according to new research from the University of Ulster.

The most important sources of happiness are good health and freedom from financial worries, Professor Vani Borooah found.

He studied more than 3,000 interviews from the Poverty and Social Exclusion in Northern Ireland survey and the results of his research were published recently in the Journal of Happiness Studies.

Professor Borooah said the research has important implications for policy makers. Too much emphasis is placed on generating wealth, particularly private wealth. Instead there should be more attention paid to devising policies which would lead to greater happiness, for example, by tackling mental health problems – one of the greatest sources of unhappiness.

Among his findings were:

Of the 1,950 people who described themselves as happy, only 41% regarded their standard of living as high. The key to happiness was satisfaction with one’s standard of living.

Health – particularly mental health - played a vital role in happiness. People with even mild mental health problems were more likely to be unhappy than people suffering from severe physical health problems such as heart conditions or back pain. At least one third of those with severe physical health problems described themselves as happy, but only 4% of those with severe mental health problems said they were happy. Some 60% said they were unhappy.

Freedom from financial worries was a major factor in happiness. People who were divorced or separated or widowed were more likely to be unhappy because of the financial implications of their new status.

People living in rural areas were more likely to be unhappy than those living in towns or cities. Rural isolation was a major contributory factor to their unhappiness.

Professor Borooah said: “There is an undue concentration of both public and private resources on raising national income: ‘undue’ because making people richer does not necessarily make them happier or, at any rate, not by enough to justify the outlay of resources in raising income.

“Now that we are able to measure what makes people happy, we should be working towards creating those factors rather than working toward income generation.

“For example, as Professor Richard Layard of the LSE emphasises, improving health, particularly mental health, would be an effective way of making people happier. It is relatively cheap to provide psychotherapy – an effective way of treating mental ill-health – yet there is a shortage of psychotherapists because we don’t invest in them. We should be putting more money into providing such services.

“Also, as Professor Layard points out, there are more people today on incapacity benefit than on unemployment benefit. Many of those on incapacity benefits are suffering from depression or other mental health problems. If the country wants to get more people into work then it must tackle these mental health issues.”

David Young | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ulster.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht The transparent soccer player
05.06.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Illinois researchers researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected
21.02.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks

18.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Diamond watch components

18.06.2018 | Process Engineering

New type of photosynthesis discovered

18.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>