Whoever said that money can't buy happiness was wrong. Researchers from the University of British Columbia recently found out that shopping – actually the act of acquiring material things – can actually bring joy more frequently than when making "experiential purchases," such as a trip or tickets to an event.
In the study published on the journal Social Psychological & Personality Science, participants were given $20 and were told to use the money to purchase a tangible item or an experience. Then they were asked to jot down their emotions and thoughts in a diary after making purchases, per Daily Mail.
After a few weeks, researchers analyzed the contents of the diary and discovered that tangible material purchases, anything from clothing to coffee makers and gadgets, offered frequent and constant feelings of happiness than expenses or purchases relating to travel or an event. However, the latter did bring spikes of intense feelings of joy.
The researcher noted that while happiness felt from making purchases of material goods was fleeting, it was more constant and it happened more frequently among the participants. However, when asked to go over their expenses for the last six weeks, some participants noted that experiential purchases gave them more satisfaction, per The Malay Mail Online.
"The decision of whether to buy a material thing or a life experience may therefore boil down to what kind of happiness one desires," said one of the study authors, Aaron Weidman, via Science 2.0.