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Essay Draft


People always try to pursue happiness
during their life, and many think money can help them to achieve it. This essay
will argue that not only money can bring the pleasure, but also other factors
can make positive feelings. It will examine the roles of money, socialisation
and time in finding happiness.

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Firstly, money seems only bring
satisfaction at the early stage of the life cycle when people’s life expectancy
is almost at the same level. Well-being is positively correlated with money
when income is at the low level. Norton (2016) states that more money makes
people in the United States feel happier if their income is smaller than 75,000
USD. Beyond this value, the happiness level becomes stable. To explain this
phenomenon, Easterlin (2001) argues that the changes of material aspirations
during life probably influence subjective well-being and income relationship.

At the young age, people have the same material aspirations and who have more
income will be happier. However, he points out that over time the increase in
revenue also makes material ambitions higher. As a result, people earn more
money, but they are maybe not happier. Moreover, money has less influence on
happiness over time. In Tella and MacCulloch (2008) study, some other factors
such as life expectancy, working hours and SOx emissions also increased their
impact to happiness level after 23 years (1975 – 1997).


Regarding socialisation aspect, social
activities and good social connections may increase the happiness. Social
activities bring positive experience and promote the level of happiness. For
example, Paul and Guilbert (2013) conduct that more working hours reduced the
satisfaction. However, these researchers find that volunteer and charity
activities increase the satisfaction level in the same amount of time.

Furthermore, Diener et al. (2010) also found in their study psychosocial
prosperity has a significant impact on the happiness of a country. As an
example, in their study, Costa Rica has a high rank in both positive feelings
and social psychological index despite the low position of GDP per capita. On
the other hand, having many social connections brings a lot of benefits, and
connect to the right people even help to gain happiness more than others
(Aaker, Rudd and Mogilner, 2011). For instance, relationships in the workplace
seem to create less happiness then family relationships. However, if an
employee tries to build good relationships with co-workers and managers, they
can achieve higher satisfaction in the workplace. Therefore, taking part in
social activities and staying connected with right people may create positive
emotions and feelings.


Finally, time is valuable and spending
time right also enhances happiness. When the time has passed, it will never go
back. Aaker, Rudd and Mogilner (2011) claim that efficient time consumption
helps to maximise happiness. They suggest five essential principles of
time-spending to attain happiness. One of them is that people may try to expand
their time by doing meaningful things which can bring joys. Also, Whillans,
Weidman and Dunn (2016) argue time is chosen more than money in their studies
because having more time seems to give people ability to enjoy more their
interests. For instance, students tend to prefer the career which has more free
time rather than the one have a good income. Similarly, working adults refer to
work fewer hours instead of they can earn more money. Moreover, happiness is
also influenced by age. Aaker, Rudd and Mogilner (2011) show that different
periods will have different ways to experience happiness. For example, young
people find joy in exciting things, while old people feel pleasure with a
peaceful mind.


In conclusion, money, socialisation and
time are some of the factors which can make people happy. Each of them has a
significant impact on positive feelings in a specific period of people’s life.

However, the level of happiness is maybe not decided by how much money, social
connections and time we have, but happiness probably depends on the way we use
these factors.



Aaker, JL, Rudd, M, Mogilner, C 2011,
‘If money does not make you happy, consider time’, Journal of Consumer
Psychology, vol. 21, pp. 126-130.


Diener, E & Ng, R 2010, ‘Wealth and
happiness across the world: material prosperity predicts life evaluation,
whereas psychosocial prosperity predicts positive feelings’, Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 99, no. 1, pp. 52-61.


Easterlin, RA 2001, ‘Income and
happiness: towards a unified theory’, The Economic Journal, vol. 111,
pp. 465-484.


Norton, MI 2016, Finding Happiness,
video, Youtube, 14 April, viewed 8 December 2017,


Paul, S & Guibert, D 2013,
‘Income-happiness paradox in Australia: testing the theories of adaptation and
social comparison’, Economic Modelling, vol. 30, pp. 900-910.


Tella, RD & MacCulloch, R 2007,
‘Gross national happiness as an answer to the Easterlin Paradox?’, Journal of Development Economics, vol.

86, pp. 22-42.’


Whillans, AV, Weidman, AC & Dunn,
EW 2016, ‘Valuing time over money is associated with greater happiness’, Social
Psychological and Personality Science, vol. 7, pp. 213-222.