Tuesday 4 October 2016

Experiences Bring Longer Term Happiness

Positive Psychology studies teach us that experiences make us happier than material things for a longer period of time.  We know about the effect of the "Hedonic Treadmill", where we acclimatize to our new reality. (The new car smell goes away and we're stuck with 4 more years of payments.). But why doesn't the same adaptation appear to happen with experiences?

One theory that Thomas Gilovich, a professor of Psychology at Cornell University, has for the long-lasting effects of an experience over material possessions is that it would be more likely to bring them closer together with other humans. Social interaction provides us with higher degrees of happiness.

 "As a result," says Gilovich, "one reason that experiential purchases tend to provide more enduring satisfaction is that they more readily, more broadly, and more deeply connect us to others. "