TAMPA (CBS Tampa) — The Beatles sang “money can’t buy me love” but can money buy you happiness?

Not according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

The study titled “Where Happiness Lies” finds that happiness has more to do with respect and influence rather than with status or wealth.

Research conducted by Cornell’s Dr. Alice Isen finds that people experience a thrill when they get a free sample, find a quarter on the street, or receive an unexpected gift. This emotion can lead them to be more generous, friendlier, and healthier.

“We can induce affective stats in small ways,” she stated in the study. “The fact that we can impact behavior and cognitive processes so strongly with such little manipulation suggest you need to pay attention to people’s capabilities and abilities to change as much as we pay attention to underlying strengths.”

The study also says that employees feel happier when their supervisors recognize their success.

“Positive effect has to be managed,” Isen added. “You can’t expect to put people in a happy state or hire people you think will be happy and take advantage of them. They don’t become patsies.”

A similar study, Respect Matters More Than Money for Happiness in Life, was conducted by Cameron Anderson, a psychological scientist from the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley.

He and his colleagues conducted four separate studies which included college kids and graduate students.

The researchers were stunned by their results.

“I was surprised at how fluid these effects were,” Anderson said in the study.

They found that “one of the reasons why money doesn’t buy happiness is that people quickly adapt to the new level of income or wealth.”

Anderson added: “It’s possible that being respected, having influence, and being socially integrated just never gets old.”


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