It's an age-old question: Can money buy you happiness? Jean talks with positive psychology expert Dr. Ed Diener, co-author of Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth, about the complex relationship between financial wealth and happiness.
According to Dr. Diener, happiness is determined by a combination of factors, including health, relationships, positive spirituality, purpose and, yes, money. While more money does not necessarily mean more happiness, happy people tend to make more money, a conclusion Dr. Diener says he reached after following up with happy college students 20 years after they had graduated. "The most cheerful college students were making more money later, so it really was happiness leading to money rather than the other way around," Dr. Diener says.
The errors some psychologists make is suggesting that money doesn't matter at all, Dr. Diener says. "We've studied people around the world, and money does matter," he says. "It is helpful." Money can be harmful to an individual's happiness when he becomes so materialistic that it becomes his sole focus in life, Dr. Diener says. "Who are materialistic people? They're people who care more about money than everything else," he says. "And that's a mistake."