Study: Money Buys Happiness


money-cash-dollarThe Wall Street Journal’s Tanya Rivero invited Dr. Paul Zak, a neuroeconomist, on her Lunch Break program to explain why shopping makes people happy. It turns out that, according to his studies, it doesn’t. Zak and his colleagues at the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies — “We measure brain activity while people make decisions involving money and other people,” Zak explained — studied people shopping, with some shoppers receiving a surprise award at checkout, either $40 cash or a gift of handmade chocolate.

The people who got the cash experienced an immediate and lasting jolt of oxytocin, the love and connection hormone in the brain. But doesn’t shopping produce feelings of happiness by itself?

“Surprisingly not, actually,” Zak explained. “It was stressful when you shopped, you had a budget you had to meet, you’re shopping under time pressure, and it wasn’t really fun.” What about the shoppers given candy? “Chocolate was OK, people kind of liked it,” Zak said, “but money beats chocolate.”




  1. #1 You are committing the fallacy of “begging the question”. You are implying that having more money will make you happier or “less depressed” because you will be able to pay your mortgage and tuition. If indeed you had totally equal bad feelings then the money indeed wouldn’t make you any happier. Happiness comes from accomplishment, doing what your specific task is in this world.

  2. the gift of happiness is worth more then money. for more money brings you more worries.

    how does someone attain the gift of unlimited happiness? does riches REALLY make you happy? what is the life of a person who just won the lottery & became rich consist of? 3 cars, 2 houses & sitting on his couch doing almost nothing. YOU are fortunate to have a schedule of real things to do, from family time to ruchnius to shopping etc…

    when a person has attained the gift of Bitachon & emunah (faith & trust) in Hashem 24-7 he has attained the gift of happiness in life 24-7, cause nothing in the world can affect him. Even a open robbery or someone hurting him C”V Can’t affect him cause he know that everything Hashem does is for the good. can you tell me a better gift in this world then the gift of Happiness 24-7? ITS PRICELESS

    A psychologist dealing with many depressed patients.