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 New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
07.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Because not only arguments count
30.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal

14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>