Many Articles assessed in our class argue that money does make people happier, until they reach a certain income when the benefit levels out. I address three articles that address this concern in different ways: Chapter five in The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt, “A Formula for Happiness” by Arthur C. Brooks, and “High income improves evaluation of life, but not emotional well-being” by Kahneman, D. , & Deaton, A. , and Kahneman and Deaton’s discussion of life evaluation and emotional well-being.
Haidt challenges the idea that happiness only comes from within ourselves not from external objects. He argues there are many external conditions that affects our happiness. He explains many different ways of improving one’s happiness by changing the external circumstances. The circumstances that we are able to change are people, money, and education. Many people now are starting to go back to college to change their major because they weren’t happy with their job. This is a great way to change how happy someone is. This will also help you change the money aspect of someone’s life.
They are usually going back to school because they are unhappy with their pay. There has been extensive research done on linking happiness to education and income. This complements the ideas discussed by Kahneman & Deaton. In this article they state that “income and education are most closely related to life evaluation but health, care giving, loneliness, and smoking are relatively stronger predictors of daily emotions” (Kahneman 2010). This supports Haidt’s argument that external circumstances can change someone’s happiness.
This is true because many people are starting to go back to college to get a better education so they are able to be paid a higher salary. They will even go back to college to completely learn a whole new major and then change jobs because they are unhappy with their previous job. They decide to change one of their outside conditions that is causing them to be unhappy. This has led to more happiness in the world as more people like their job. It’s also true because people that have better health tend to be happier than those who are not as healthy.
People live far better lives if they are healthier than if they are always sick. The people that are sick all the time will limit themselves because they might not want to et anyone else sick or they aren’t in a good enough state to do the task they wanted. Life evaluation is a major key to happiness since people have to think they are happy to be happy. Brooks also shows how external circumstances are able to change people and their happiness. He describes how researchers spectated separated identical twins that were split up at birth through adaption.
The two children were adapted by different families with different backgrounds. After some time, the researchers discovered that we inherit a surprising proportion of our happiness. It is almost 48 percent of our happiness is inherited genetically from our parents (Brooks, 2013). About 40 percent of our happiness comes from isolated events and one-time event like getting into the college that someone always dreamed about getting into or having that dream job that they have always been looking for (Brooks, 2013).
Additionally, after about half of our happiness is inherited and almost 40 percent of our happiness comes from past experiences there is about 12 percent (give or take a few percent) that we are able to have under control. This 12 percent s including the four basic values that we all try to pursue. These four basic values are faith, family, community and work. People pursue the values because we can control these values to an extent. We are not able to control who is in our family, but we are able to control our faith, community and work.
The research that Brooks wrote about supports the idea that our outside circumstances do effect our happiness. Money is the biggest contributor to someone’s happiness but once they reach about $75,000 then the happiness levels out. This does not imply that people that have an income under $75,000 are nhappy, but it is more likely for them to be unhappy more frequently. This could be due to the fact that they might have more stress in their lives about paying bills or supplying food for their family. Therefore, depending on where they live, this $75,000 might not be enough for the cost of living in their state.
Haidt in chapter five talks about how even spending your money wisely will help you become a happier person. If they were to spend their money wiser then they wouldn’t have to worry as much about providing for their family or paying the bills. Haidt starts to talk about how even though we do find happiness in external objects no matter how much we change them they will not bring us more happiness. This isn’t true because there are many things that we can change out to make ourselves happier even if we had one before. One great example is friends or significant others.
Many times people get upset with their friends because they are mean to them and causes them to be unhappy for a while. If that mean friend always mean to them, then they are able to get rid of that friend and a better friend that isn’t mean to them. Personally for myself there are many things that someone could change out for better versions of the same thing and it will make me happier. If someone was to give me a better house or better car this would make me happier than when I had the smaller house or the worse car.
Now it might not make me happier if the house is just barely bigger than my previous house, but if the house was dramatically bigger than it would definitely make me exceedingly happier. This is true for most people, many people in the world would love to have a bigger house and then that ould make them happier. The people that are barely scraping by would be ecstatic to be given a bigger house or even if they were able to afford a bigger house. People that are near the poverty level would take anything to make their lives better.
The things they take would more than likely make them happier because it would be less things they have to be worried about buying or providing for their family. There are many things in the world that would affect someone’s happiness. People would say that extra money would always be nice to have so they are able to go out and pend it on maybe a nice dinner or something they have wanted to buy for a long time, but the research shows that people that have a household income of $150,000 are just barely happier than people that have a household income of $75,000.
This proves that are proof that our external environment and conditions effect our happiness. People are able to try and change their conditions to bring them more happiness and for many people that will work. Everyone has the right to be happy so why don’t we all change the things that make us unhappy. money does buy happiness, to a point. These pieces