Brain and Behavior, Mental Health

Experience More Happiness

We all want to experience more happiness. Yet in this uncertain world, moments of happiness can seem fleeting at best. That rush of joy when you finally drive away in your new car…or the gasp of delight over those glittering birthday earrings…even the pleasure of a bargain-find, perfectly fitted new jacket…

According to researchers with the University of Texas at Austin, the happy feelings resulting from material purchases pale in comparison to the joy of experiences. The research article published recently in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology confirmed that in the moment, and in retrospect, people experience greater levels of happiness from experiences than material possessions. 

“People derive more satisfaction from experiential purchases (e.g., travel, entertainment, outdoor activities, meals out) than material purchases (e.g., clothing, jewelry, furniture, gadgets), both in prospect and retrospect.”

This probably doesn’t surprise any of us…yet will we let this evidence transform our buying decisions? Science often confirms what our ‘hearts’ know to be true, and this article certainly convicts me! As for me and my house, we will press into experiential happiness and reduce spending on possessions!

By Terissa Michele Miller, MS Psy

Check out the original research:

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