How money buys happiness: Genetic and environmental processes linking finances and life satisfaction

Wendy Johnson, Robert Krueger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations

Abstract

Measures of wealth such as income and assets are commonly considered to be objective measures of environmental circumstances, making direct contributions to life satisfaction. Here, the authors explored the accuracy of this assumption. Using a nationwide sample of 719 twin pairs from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States, the authors first noted the relative independence of most perceptions about financial status from measures of actual wealth. They then demonstrated that perceived financial situation and control over life completely mediated the association between measures of actual wealth and life satisfaction. Finally, they showed that financial resources appeared to protect life satisfaction from environmental shocks. In addition, control appeared to act as a mechanism translating life circumstances into life satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-691
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume90
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2006

Keywords

  • Income
  • Life satisfaction
  • Perceived control over life
  • Perceived financial position
  • Twin study

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'How money buys happiness: Genetic and environmental processes linking finances and life satisfaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this