- A 20-year study conducted by a psychology professor showed that the happiness on buying material things fades quickly
- On the other hand, the happiness which going to a trip provides lingers
- He explained that it is because experiences become part of ourselves while materials things are separate from us
Rewarding ourselves with either a new bag, shoes, or gadget after a job well done may make us happy but only for a short period of time, a study argued.
Happiness fades more quickly when you spend money on things, a report highlighted based on a 20-year research conducted by Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor in the United States.
The study entitled “Waiting for Merlot: Anticipatory Consumption of Experiential and Material Purchases” argued that experiential purchases (money spent on doing) tend to provide more enduring happiness than material purchases (money spent on having).
In other words, happiness caused by going on a trip or experiencing something new may linger while buying a material thing may only excite us for a while.
It was explained that this might be because “we easily get used to new things” and the excitement it gives will soon fade the more we use it. And once we purchase a thing, our expectations get higher; leading to another purchase of gadget or other stuff.
“We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them,” Gilovich said. Experiential purchase, on the other hand, become part of ourselves that is why the happiness it gives lingers.
“Our experiences are bigger part of ourselves than our material goods. You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identify is connected to those things, but nonetheless, they remain separate from you. In contrast your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences,” Gilovich explained.
So, now reflect and reevaluate yourself, which of the two makes you happier — buying material things or making memories through travel and experiences? Choose where to spend your money wisely while considering your happiness.