How Does Extreme Life Events Affect Future Happiness?

1242 Words 5 Pages
“Money doesn’t buy happiness.” That’s what the people prior to us tell us, the next generation, but they tell us as they are sitting in their paid off Ford F150 with their fancy new iPhone watch and college tuition loans paid off. Because they are done, they have no daily stresses because they have “made it” in the real world. The rest of us, not the 99% not swimming in pools of diamonds, but the rest of us middle classers, 50% of Americans (Thuy Vo 2012), bring home less than 1,000 dollars a week, don’t (Matthews 2012). But that guy who owns an airport and seven jets sure looks a lot happier than the single mom with three kids who works 70 hours a week. Obviously, if we all had a choice, we’d all pick the guy. With the money he has he is …show more content…
In 1978 researcher Philip Brickman researched the question of how extreme life events have an effect on future happiness. In order to do this, he had three groups: lottery winners, ranging from 50,000 to 1 million dollars, control group, and the paraplegics, who experienced a type of physical trauma. The main focus of this experiment was to see how the the groups look inwards and rate their past, present, and future selves. This is important because everyone lives day to day but also keep living for the future happiness they will experience. It’s a common answer of “What 's the key to life?” and simplistic answer is “happiness,” and this is reference to the future happiness. By the three groups ranking past, present, and future, you can mentally see if their happiness is linear or not. Hopefully we, everyone who wants to be happy, as we grow older only become more happy. The data Brickman found is that that is not the case. The lottery winners ranked their happiness in the past as less than now and less than the future ahead of them-- and so did the control group. It’s linear, but it only reached a certain point. The groups ranked their happiness on 1-5, and the lottery winners ranked their future as 4.20. In comparison, the paraplegics had more of a up and down happiness level. The past was better than now, but the future will be higher than both of them with a ranking of 4.32. In the moment, the present, the lottery winners ranked higher by 1.04 points than the paraplegic. So in the moment of bad or good, the rankings reflect the moment. If something good happens, you’ll be happy; if something bad happens, you won’t be happy. This provides that money is better than a tragic accident, but also better than nothing like the control group. The control group ranked the present at 3.82 while the lottery winners had a 4.00. This provides the conclusion that money will make you happy--

Related Documents