happiness is based on the degree of respect and admiration you
command in society, rather than your bank balance, says a new
Psychological scientist Cameron Anderson of the Haas School of
Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and his
co-authors explored the relationship between different types of
status and well-being.
"We got interested in this idea because there is abundant evidence
that higher socio-economic status -- higher income or wealth,
higher education -- does not boost subjective well-being (or
happiness) much at all. Yet at the same time, many theories
suggest that higher status should boost happiness," said Anderson,
reports the journal Psychological Science.
So if higher socioeconomic status doesn't equate with a greater
sense of well-being, then what does?
Anderson and his colleagues hypothesized that higher socio-metric
status -- respect and admiration in your face-to-face groups, such
as your friendship network, your neighbourhood, or your athletic
team -- might make a difference in your overall happiness,
according to a Berkeley statement.
"Having high standing in your local ladder leads to receiving more
respect, having more influence, and being more integrated into the
group's social fabric," Anderson said. Over a series of four
studies, Anderson and his colleagues set out to test this
Together, the four studies provide clear evidence for the
relationship between socio-metric status and well-being.
But why does socio-metric status seem to matter so much when
socioeconomic status doesn't?
One possible explanation, which Anderson hopes to explore in
future research, is that people adapt.
"One of the reasons why money doesn't buy happiness is that people
quickly adapt to the new level of income or wealth. Lottery
winners, for example, are initially happy but then return to their
original level of happiness quickly," said Anderson.