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Can Money Buy Happiness in the 21st Century?

Money has been an integral part of human life for thousands of years. People have always used money to buy the things they need and want to survive and thrive. But can money actually buy happiness?

This question has been debated by philosophers, economists, and psychologists for centuries, and the answer is not a simple one.

Money can buy necessities

In the 21st century, there is no doubt that money can buy many things that contribute to happiness, such as food, shelter, and clothing. These necessities of life are essential for human survival and well-being, and without them, it is impossible to be happy.

In addition to these basic needs, money can buy many other things that bring happiness, such as entertainment, leisure activities, and travel.

Money has little effect on our happiness

However, there is also a growing body of evidence to suggest that the relationship between money and happiness becomes more complex.

For example, research has shown that once people have enough money to meet their basic needs, additional income has little effect on their happiness.

This is because people quickly become accustomed to their new levels of wealth, and the initial excitement of buying new things fades over time.

Furthermore, pursuing of money can often be a stressful and time-consuming endeavor, which can have negative effects on a person's mental and emotional well-being.

The pressure to earn more and more money can lead to feelings of anxiety and inadequacy, which can, in turn, lead to unhappiness.

In fact, some research has even suggested that people who are overly focused on accumulating wealth may be more likely to experience depression and other mental health problems.

Hedonic treadmill phenomenon – what is it?

One possible explanation for this phenomenon is the hedonic treadmill, which is the idea that people are never delighted with their possessions, and always want more.

This constant desire for more can lead to a never-ending cycle of chasing after money and ultimately is detrimental to a person's happiness.

Additionally, the societal emphasis on material possessions and wealth can create feelings of inadequacy and competition, damaging individuals and communities.

When people constantly compare themselves to others based on their possessions and wealth, it can lead to feelings of inferiority, jealousy, and resentment.

More money, less empathy?

Numerous studies have suggested that having money may make you less empathetic and compassionate.

According to research in the journal “Psychological Science,” those with lower socioeconomic levels are better at reading others’ facial expressions – a crucial indicator of empathy – than those with higher incomes.

Co-author of this study, Michael Kraus, told Time the following:

“A lot of what we see is a baseline orientation for the lower class to be more empathetic to the upper class to be less. “

“Lower-class environments are much different from upper-class environments. Lower-class individuals have to respond chronically to a number of vulnerabilities and social threats. You really need to depend on others, so they will tell you if a social threat or opportunity is coming, and that makes you more perceptive of emotions. “

Although having fewer resources encourages emotional intelligence, having more resources might lead to undesirable conduct.

Even counterfeit currency, according to a study from UC Berkley, can cause people to act in a less considerate manner.

Researchers found that when two students played Monopoly, the student with significantly more money initially showed uneasiness before acting aggressively, occupying more space, moving his pieces more noisily, and even insulting the student with less money.

We frequently consider the wealthy to be “evil”

On the other end of the scale, those with lesser incomes are more inclined to stereotype and evaluate others who are more prosperous than themselves., frequently labeling the wealthy as “cold.”

According to the “Scientific American,” we often feel envious of and distrustful of the wealthy, to the point where we could even find enjoyment in their suffering.

The University of Pennsylvania found that most people associate perceived earnings with perceived social harm.

Both liberals and conservatives ranked organizations seen to have more significant profits with greater evil and wrongdoing across the board, regardless of the company’s or industry’s actual conduct, when participants were asked to evaluate numerous companies and industries.

Money has its ups and downs, and everyone can say what they want, but one is undoubtedly true – money can’t buy happiness, but it can purchase the needs and requirements for a healthy life.

Everyone thinks about happiness in their way, right?

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#Move on

*An article was prepared and written byBalša Kićović, Textual Content Creator. 


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