Happiness Runs in a Circular Motion: Evidence for a Positive Feedback Loop between Prosocial Spending and Happiness

We examine whether a positive feedback loop exists between spending money on others and happiness

Lara B. Aknin; Elizabeth W. Dunn; Michael I. Norton

2011

Scholarcy highlights

  • We examine whether a positive feedback loop exists between spending money on others and happiness
  • This procedure was carefully designed to minimize social desirability concerns, it is conceivable that some participants who selected the prosocial spending option intended to spend the money on themselves. This possibility is unlikely given that previous work has shown that the majority of participants are quite willing to express a preference for spending money on themselves, even when social desirability concerns are higher
  • Given that participants were randomly assigned to conditions, it is unlikely that these individual differences account for our findings
  • Future research should examine how such variables interact with the feedback loop presented here

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