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 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: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>