--Original published at Sarah's Insight
Can Money Really Buy Happiness?
Across the world, people have been suffering from time scarcity, which can be linked to reduced happiness, increased anxiety, insomnia, and a lower well-being. An Experiment that consisted of large samples from the United States, Canada, Denmark, and the Netherlands would test if people who spend their money on services that save them time are happier than those who spend money on materialistic items. In the samples from different countries in the world, it was found that the higher the income, the greater the time scarcity, which leads to time stress. This study tested if buying free time (paying for a cleaning service, a cook, etc.) would reduce the negative effects that result from time stress.
The researchers hypothesized that buying time may provide an alternate way to cope with daily demands, such as time stress and reduced life satisfaction. The samples were asked the same two questions about if and how much they spend toward services that save time each month. The participants were also asked to rate their satisfaction with life and their annual household income, weekly work hours, age, marital status, and how many children they have. The research found that 28% of the participants spent money of time saving services and had greater life satisfaction ratings than those who did not indulge in time saving services.
Based on these results, the researchers conducted another two week within-subjects experiment on working adults in Vancouver, Canada to see which increased happiness and decreased stress; spending money on time saving services or material items. The participants were given eighty dollars each, and were given two weekends to spend it. The first weekend, the participants were to use forty dollars to buy a service such as meal delivery and cleaning services. The second weekend, the participants could spend the remaining forty dollars on an item like a polo shirt and “fancy” wine. The researchers found that the participants were more positive after the first weekend than the second.
The results of both experiments show that buying time had a greater life satisfaction rate and the participants felt less pressure and improved mood at the end of their day. The researchers encourage more research on this subject to see how much buying time effects the lives of people of different social and financial backgrounds.
I did not find it difficult to summarize the articles because they were both fairly short and got down to the point. The news article focused mainly on the experiment where the participants were given money to spend on the service while the scholarly article provided information from both experiments. The scholarly article was only 5 pages, so it wasn’t that difficult to condense it into the main points and write a summary. I tried to base my writing off of how the news article was written without including a lot of unnecessary filler sentences. I did not have to leave out any important information in my summary, however I find it interesting that the news article is slightly longer than my summary but does not include a lot of information about the first experiment.
I think that the journalists did a decent job on the news article. Looking at the scholarly article, it is easy to see what they could improve on and what they did well with. I think that they did a great job at convincing the readers that there was a significant difference between those who spent money on services and those who spent money on items. They did not do a good job at explaining the first experiment and how the researchers interpreted those results and they did not do a good job at specifying what sample was from which countries. When I first read the news article, I had no idea who was participating in the experiment, but when I read the scholarly article, the demographics were very clear. Overall, I believe that the news article gave a good summary of the scholarly article and both were very easy to understand and summarize.