NICOLE mantle (37 years) and her husband, Dean, with whom we met in the study dreamed of a safari in Africa. But they bought the house where the bathroom was in a terrible state, and it was decided that the adventure will have to wait. However, having heard stories about friends safari, the couple decided to still go to Africa — and spit on the bathroom!

It would seem to throw away money on safari instead of repairing at least unwise, but decades of research indicates an unexpected wisdom of such a decision. From the results of scientific experiments, it is clear that people are more than happy to purchase new experiences and impressions than from the acquisition of material things. Impressions draw us closer to the people and material things we enjoy in solitude (really a suite for sure!). The study, conducted by researchers at the College of Business at Stony Brook University (USA) showed that the events experienced in solitude, brings as much joy as the purchase of tangible objects.

And the impression was allowed to share them with others. During one study, experts University of Colorado (USA) found that two strangers get more pleasure from the conversation when discussing the experience gained, not the purchase of material things, and like such strangers to each other more. No-kol dreamily recalls how during the safari giraffe kiss her. No matter what you think about the exchange of saliva with the other species, but you can not help but admit that this experience has created a much more interesting story than fitting new toilet.


Some people tend to take extreme, memorable — even unpleasant — activities to enhance ‘portfolio experience. » In Kenya, Nicole and Dean stayed in a fancy hotel called «The Ark», where guests regularly raise the middle of the night from their beds in order to see the wild animals. Although brutal wake-up heavy, Nicole and Dean were delighted. They wanted to see the «big five» (elephants, rhinos African buffalo, leopard and lion) and were! happy to get out of bed, if it’s possible to add a new pet to his «collection.»

Announcement on the wall of the hotel was that the call will ring once for elephant, rhinoceros twice to three times for a leopard and four for «unusual spectacle.» What awaited them in the latter case? Nicole laughs: «Porcupine». Another feature impressions, giving them an advantage over material things — we often see a positive (or at least amusing) aspect of the experience, even when everything goes according to plan.

Nicole, remembering the journey, nothing to regret. Scientists at Cornell University (USA) have found that people tend to regret the «buying experience» much less than buying material objects. They asked students to recall spending and describe an incident when they most regretted his decision. When it came to things material, the majority of respondents regretted make a purchase. When they talked about «buying experience», more than 80% of people felt sorry for the missed opportunity. As experience represents a unique and irreplaceable, we strongly regret that miss them.

Nicole glad took the opportunity to go on a safari. Now, two years later, it remains a private and not repaired. Yet, Nicole says: «I would not trade the memories of that trip for anything in the world. Even on a brand new house. » But money can not only provide a great adventure. They can also transform the mundane picture of everyday life, allowing you to get rid of the hated Interior.

One of us (Mike) while washing dishes feels that he calls «existential dread.» Of course, most people do not rush to play your own personal version of Sartre’s play due to the sink full of suds. But the study, in which the psychologist Daniel Kahneman is a description of the average of the day showed that domestic work is rated as one of the least enjoyable activities (who would doubt). Thus Kahneman concluded that in everyday life, our mood is more dependent on how and with whom we spend our time on more than the global circumstances. Instead, more and more fashionable cars and all the more spacious homes, we would be better to spend money on something to spend less time per session, who regularly rob us of joy.


Once one of us (Louise) had a child, night after night, she began to spend sleepless, restless lying next to the baby. Try all methods of teaching night’s sleep, were found in the Internet, Liz went to drastic measures: it is called a woman named Claudia, well-known fact that any child can learn to sleep. Claudia services are not cheap — for the same money could buy a new Liz fashionable speaker system on which they stare for months. But teach a child to sleep, Claudia did what speaker system never could: she turned a sleepless night Liz hours of blissful sleep. Many of our purchases — even such pleasant as speaker — have little effect on our everyday activities. But it is very easy to exaggerate the potential benefits seductive new purchase. Surround Sound! Just like at the cinema! This is enhanced by a detailed study of similar goods before buying, because of which the system with ten speakers begins to seem infinitely more beautiful than a system with six speakers, and deserves an additive in $ 200 to the price. Scientists from the University of Chicago (USA) have found that when people are trying to see how these differences will make their lives happier, they exaggerate the feeling of well-being that they should bring those extra four speakers.

«Focusing on time instead of money encourages people to employment, bringing more happiness»

Accordingly, we suggest, anticipating new purchase, to carry out «Tuesday’s test»: consider what impact the purchase will have on your activities on the following Tuesday. Studies show that such a simple mental exercise helps not to exaggerate the impact of any one thing in the level of happiness.

Reflections on how the purchase will affect the daily lives of converted solutions dedicated to shopping in solutions dedicated to time. This shift carries a hidden bonus: focus on the time instead of money encourages people to employment, bringing more happiness. The researchers conducted an experiment in one of the cafes Philadelphia: they asked people to think either about money or the time. Subjects to think about money, spent a lot of time at work, while people think about time, spent a lot of time communicating. But for most people chat — this daily routine that brings the most joy.

It is important not only what you buy, but you buy. How nice to pick up a new computer today, and pay for it later in installments. But debt much lower level of happiness. Experts from the University of Sheffield (UK), the survey of more than 2,000 people found that people are mired in the credits, feeling more miserable than people without debt.

We prefer to hire because the more comfortable paying a small amount. But neuroscientists have come to the conclusion that there is «pain of payments», which we are trying to avoid. Scientists from Stanford University (USA) found that avid shoppers, placed in an MRI scanner, the high price of the brain responds the same way to a bruised toe.

Therefore, no debt is easier to be happy — even if you do not really want to lay out a large sum at once. But delaying the use of purchase can benefit level of happiness. Scientists from the University of Breda (Netherlands) tested the level of happiness among more than a thousand people in the weeks prior to departure on vacation, and then after it. And found that the happiest respondents felt before departure. Remembering a pleasant experience — a joyful activity, but to anticipate them even better.

Postponement of the pleasure of buying increases the joy when a person finally gets to the desired. In an article published in the Journal Of Consumer Research have written that students who were waiting for half a minute before you eat a bar of chocolate, received from her more pleasure than those who ate it immediately. However, the students themselves would prefer to do without delay, without realizing that they liked chocolate more than usual.

In different Spanish cities recently appeared strange ATMs. They give out envelopes with 100 euro do not need a card or PIN. The only requirement: users must answer «yes» when asked whether they are prepared to spend money on other people. Using one of these devices placed by Coca-Cola, the people continued on their way an unexpected gift and used in many different ways. Some of their good deeds were captured on video: A young man left a shiny red tricycle on the threshold of the house, where he lived a child, the other presented the tickets to the theater an elderly couple in the park. These small acts of generosity embodied the publicity stunt Coca-Cola: «share the happiness.»

Coca-Cola ATMs with cash gifts reminiscent of an experiment that we conducted a few years ago. Our graduate Lara Eknin approach to people in Vancouver (Canada), as if animated ATM, and offered them 5 or 20 dollars that should be spent in the same day. Half of it is said to spend money on other half — on themselves. Later that evening we caught up with all the participants of the experiment, and were asked how they had a great time. To spend money on others were significantly happier than those who spent money on themselves.

Of course, do not often ATMs or university graduates showered you free money. But studies show that spending money on others makes you happy, even when you are using your own money, your hard-earned. Indeed, the joy of giving warm makes itself felt even in poor countries, where many hard to earn the most necessary. Using data from the World Gallup poll, we found that in poor and rich countries around the world, people are donating money to charity are happier. Apparently, the property felt a surge of happiness by giving — some of the basic qualities of human nature.


If so, then even very young children can have fun helping others. To test this idea, we have joined forces with the psychologist of Kylie Hamlin. For a start, we have begun to give their children as soon as started walking, fish-shaped cookies. Their faces, of course, enlightens, when they received these goodies for themselves, but the children were happier when they have an opportunity to treat their favorite doll.

But you probably have seen, as a small child bursts into tears when he is offered something to share. One is forced to reflect: there are always children and adults, again, for that matter — are experiencing joy, giving something? Our research shows that this is not always the joy arises. More likely — if you can see how your generosity has changed someone’s life. If we talk about small children, they just let us listen to how the doll begins to happily «smack one’s lips.»

Charities can use this information and make it easy to benefactors saw how to use their gifts. For example, Spread the Net promises for every $ 10 donated antimalarial provide a net to protect children in Africa. As it turned out, the people rejoice over, giving money Spread the Net, than donating to the UN children’s fund UNICEF. Although the main goal of UNICEF is also helping children in need, but those who give money to this huge organization, difficult to see what has changed their contribution to someone’s life.

We also concluded that enjoy spending other people easier, spending time with them. If you buy a nephew’s birthday football, it is more likely to experience the joy of giving, driving the ball to him on the playground. The next time, getting your wallet, ask yourself this — money for happiness?

DEVICE a holiday

We can become happier, not only delay the pleasure, but reducing it. Our student Jordi Kuadbash twice invited to the lab three groups and treated them with chocolate. One group of the week, he asked not to eat chocolate at all. Members of the other group, he handed over a large package of chocolate bars and told to eat as much as possible, and the third has not given any specific instructions. During the second visit to the lab people refrain from eating chocolate, enjoy it the most. Simple experience refutes the idea that the increase in the number of the desired make us happier.

This observation was confirmed by scientists at Michigan State University (USA). They asked a group of motorists with cars cost from 400 dollars to 40 dollars LLC to recall when they last drove the car and how it was nice. It turned out that there was no connection between the cost of the machine itself and the pleasure of driving is detected. But then the same people were asked to recall when they drove the car specifically for the pleasure. Owners of more expensive models were much happier. So unnecessary spending could result in additional happiness. Yet the increase in consumption will not necessarily lead to an increase in happiness. Time to review the daily expenses?

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