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The Science of Happiness: Buying Happiness

I’m curious: today I read again about the “science” of happiness, and one of the things mentioned in the article is the oft-quoted “buy experiences, not things”. How many studies, really, have there been done on to prove this? What’s the definition of an “experience”, as opposed to a “thing”?

The article provides the example of ”taking your family to Disney World, rather than things like a new television.” I’ve seen this sort of comparision many times, but is it really true? Is it not true that “things” provide “experiences” too? And when it comes to a “thing” like a television, does the viewing of every new programme (e.g. movie, drama serial, or sporting event) not count as a new “experience”?

I remember fond memories of playing games on my first computer and adventures I’d had on my first bicycle, both of which provided me years of enjoyment. My point is that “things” can provide “experiences” too, and this rule when used without much thought to the underlying reasons could well backfire. If you’re not keen on an “experience”, you’re not going to get much out of it.

If there are “things” that will give us that lift, then I don’t see why we shouldn’t go for them instead.

Categories: Psychology

Donn Lee

I love to read and write. Professionally, data science, technology, and sales ops are my thing. In my non-professional life, I aspire quite simply to be a good person, and encourage others to do the same. For those who care, I test as INFJ in the MBTI.

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