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Journal Article

Would You Be Happier If You Were Richer? A Focusing Illusion

Daniel Kahneman, Alan B. Krueger, David Schkade, Norbert Schwarz and Arthur A. Stone
Science
New Series, Vol. 312, No. 5782 (Jun. 30, 2006), pp. 1908-1910
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3846429
Page Count: 3
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Would You Be Happier If You Were Richer? A Focusing Illusion
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Abstract

The belief that high income is associated with good mood is widespread but mostly illusory. People with above-average income are relatively satisfied with their lives but are barely happier than others in moment-to-moment experience, tend to be more tense, and do not spend more time in particularly enjoyable activities. Moreover, the effect of income on life satisfaction seems to be transient. We argue that people exaggerate the contribution of income to happiness because they focus, in part, on conventional achievements when evaluating their life or the lives of others.

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