Nav: Home

Valuing your time more than money is linked to happiness

January 07, 2016

Valuing your time more than the pursuit of money is linked to greater happiness, according to new research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

In six studies with more than 4,600 participants, researchers found an almost even split between people who tended to value their time or money, and that choice was a fairly consistent trait both for daily interactions and major life events.

"It appears that people have a stable preference for valuing their time over making more money, and prioritizing time is associated with greater happiness," said lead researcher Ashley Whillans, a doctoral student in social psychology at the University of British Columbia. The findings were published online in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

The researchers found an almost even split with slightly more than half of the participants stating they prioritized their time more than money. Older people also were more likely to say they valued their time compared to younger people.

"As people age, they often want to spend time in more meaningful ways than just making money," Whillans said.

The researchers conducted separate surveys with a nationally representative sample of Americans, students at the University of British Columbia, and adult visitors of a science museum in Vancouver. Some of the studies used real-world examples, such as asking a participant whether he would prefer a more expensive apartment with a short commute or a less expensive apartment with a long commute. A participant also could choose between a graduate program that would lead to a job with long hours and a higher starting salary or a program that would result in a job with a lower salary but fewer hours.

A participant's gender or income didn't affect whether they were more likely to value time or money, although the study didn't include participants living at the poverty level who may have to prioritize money to survive.

If people want to focus more on their time and less on money in their lives, they could take some actions to help shift their perspective, such as working slightly fewer hours, paying someone to do disliked chores like cleaning the house, or volunteering with a charity. While some options might be available only for people with disposable income, even small changes could make a big difference, Whillans said.

"Having more free time is likely more important for happiness than having more money," she said. "Even giving up a few hours of a paycheck to volunteer at a food bank may have more bang for your buck in making you feel happier."
-end-
Journal article: Whillans, A., Weidman, A., and Dunn, E. (2015) Valuing Time Over Money Is Associated with Greater Happiness, Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Social Psychological and Personality Science (SPPS), published monthly, is an official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), the Association for Research in Personality (ARP), the European Association of Asocial Psychology (EASP), and the Society for Experimental Social Psychology (SESP). Social Psychological and Personality Science publishes cutting edge short reports of single studies on the latest advances in personality and social sciences.

Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Related Happiness Articles:

Sleep regularity is important for the happiness and well-being of college students
Preliminary results from the 'SNAPSHOT study,' an NIH-funded collaborative research project between the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and MIT Media Lab Affective Computing Group, suggest that keeping a regular sleep pattern contributes to the happiness and well-being of college students.
Mothers' relationship happiness may influence infant fussiness
How happy a mother is in her relationship and the social support she receives may affect the risk of infant colic, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.
Can dealing with emotional exhaustion enhance happiness?
New research from the University of East Anglia suggests that the process of dealing with emotional exhaustion can sometimes increase happiness.
Emoticons help gauge school happiness level in young children
The How I Feel About My School questionnaire, designed by experts at the University of Exeter Medical School, is available to download for free.
Where belief in free will is linked to happiness
Free will describes the ability to make independent choices, where the outcome of the choice is not influenced by past events.
New equation reveals how other people's fortunes affect our happiness
A new equation, showing how our happiness depends not only on what happens to us but also how this compares to other people, has been developed by UCL researchers funded by Wellcome.
Measuring happiness on social media
In a study published in March in the journal PLOS One, University of Iowa computer scientists used two years of Twitter data to measure users' life satisfaction, a component of happiness.
The first happiness genes have been located
For the first time in history, researchers have isolated the parts of the human genome that could explain the differences in how humans experience happiness.
Links between money and happiness uncovered
Changes in income do not affect most people's happiness, most of the time, according to a new study led by the University of Stirling.
Valuing your time more than money is linked to happiness
Valuing your time more than the pursuit of money is linked to greater happiness, according to new research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

Related Happiness Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#529 Do You Really Want to Find Out Who's Your Daddy?
At least some of you by now have probably spit into a tube and mailed it off to find out who your closest relatives are, where you might be from, and what terrible diseases might await you. But what exactly did you find out? And what did you give away? In this live panel at Awesome Con we bring in science writer Tina Saey to talk about all her DNA testing, and bioethicist Debra Mathews, to determine whether Tina should have done it at all. Related links: What FamilyTreeDNA sharing genetic data with police means for you Crime solvers embraced...