How to Buy Happiness

11 minutes 9.1/10 based on 23 votes

“Money Can’t Buy You Love,” sang The Beatles. But they neglected to mention that money CAN buy you happiness. In this TED TALK, Michael Norton tells you how. Michael Norton has some incredible research to share with us. He has been experimenting with money: those who have it and those who don’t. More importantly, he has been noticing HOW people spend their money and the chemical reactions that this spending elicit in the brain.

The secret? Don’t spend the money on yourself: spend it on others.  Norton presents some shocking data on spending can be a huge benefit for health, happiness, and community.

Now, if I can only get the song “Money Can Buy Me Happiness” out of my head!

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  • john

    Im confused? The point is a bit twisted. In this case the conclusion is that money can buy you happiness? – It seems to me that it is not the money that buys you happiness, it is the social act that takes care of the other before one self? I think that the money-thing he talks about is a way to make a point, but it is about social care that in this case creates the happiness, for ex. If you give a person you like new earrings or if you give her a hug or a self-made drawing, anything, it should be the same happiness? But it seems like social care or social responsibility, not money.

  • Andy Lau

    I found out that if we resume this to Give instead of Money itself can solve this misunderstanding.

  • Andy Lau

    I found out that if we resume this to Give instead of Money itself can solve this misunderstanding.

  • Cortazar

    I can decide if caring for others for selfish reasons is ok or not… (and what ok means anyway)

  • This just convinced me to start being charitable in a small way

  • Nick

    How did this end up on DocStorm or even on TED? This is bogus research if ever I saw it.

    First, having money does not make one happy. However, the LACK of money in our society will make you UNHAPPY. This is an important distinction that is often over looked.

    Money buys you freedom and security…assuming you don’t have to go to a job you hate to earn it and you don’t have to constantly worry about losing your job or income.

    Unfortunately, many of us have to work jobs we hate, jobs that require low moral standards to do, and most Americans are in constant fear of losing their source of income (which translates to losing their security, lifestyle, and freedom).

    The examples he uses in this TED, giving away 5 or 20 dollars to another person, that is chump change! When we talk about having money, we mean more than 20 dollars.

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