Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Using Money to Buy Time Linked to Increased Happiness #Science #Psychology #Wellbeing

People who spent money on time saving purchases reported greater life satisfaction.

Credit: © JackF / Fotolia

New research is challenging the age-old adage that money can't buy happiness.

The study, led by researchers at the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School, suggests that using money to buy free time -- such as paying to delegate household chores like cleaning and cooking -- is linked to greater life satisfaction.

"People who hire a housecleaner or pay the kid next door to mow the lawn might feel like they're being lazy," said study lead author Ashley Whillans, assistant professor at Harvard Business School who carried out the research as a PhD candidate in the UBC department of psychology. "But our results suggest that buying time has similar benefits for happiness as having more money."

Science Daily:  Using money to buy time linked to increased happiness

The Rockhouse only sees money as the symbol of your time so having more of time or money is really the same thing.

"The benefits of buying time aren't just for wealthy people," said UBC psychology professor and the study's senior author Elizabeth Dunn. "We thought the effects might only hold up for people with quite a bit of disposable income, but to our surprise, we found the same effects across the income spectrum."

To test whether buying time actually causes greater happiness, the researchers also conducted a field experiment. Sixty adults were randomly assigned to spend $40 on a time saving purchase on one weekend, and $40 on a material purchase on another weekend. The results revealed that people felt happier when they spent money on a time saving purchase than on a material purchase.

- SD

We conjecture most people, at least in America, will use any free time to try to make yet more money so we have the following Confused Consumerist Conundrum.

Despite the benefits, the researchers were surprised to discover how few people choose to spend their money on time saving purchases in daily life. Even in a sample of 850 millionaires who were surveyed, almost half reported spending no money outsourcing disliked tasks. A survey of 98 working adults asking how they would spend a windfall of $40 also revealed that only two per cent would use it in a way that saved them time.

- SD

There's the fundamental consumerist exercise since people need to buy stuff, much of which they can't afford, so credit cards were invented which permitted double the debt since the consumer could offload debt to the credit card while creating even more debt in other ways.  That allowed the consumer to get more stuff and so much so it ended up in a storage unit to save the stuff even though they probably never saw it again.

Judging by the last part from the researchers, it appears if people are aware they're not doing themselves any good this way then they're not paying any attention to it.  We can see the evidence around us of so many unhappy people who are perennially locked in a loop of Too Much or Not Enough but there's a nicotinic compulsion which tells them acquiring more stuff will make them feel better.

Well, the science proves it won't.

There are some things required at the Rockhouse which are mandatory since the medical situation is severe so there's no skipping appointments because a friend called me up to go fishing.  However, anything which is not life or death mandatory is optional and the result is free time galore.  Calling it a state of happiness in the midst of non-trivial pain is a bit of a stretch but there's a great deal more happiness than many would likely suppose.

Zen Yogi:  happiness is the absence of things which suck

So that's the puzzle, Zen Yogi, since they acquire things which suck and they have payments which suck, they need maintenance which sucks, and they always feel like they need a bigger and better one which sucks most of all.  Then they start drinking and say they're not happy but we only ask, "What did you think would happen?"

But you and I, we have been through that and it may have been our fate but that's hardly true for anyone when the hour starts getting late.

Time by The Chambers Brothers

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