Freedom more important for happiness than wealth
Personal independence and freedom are more important to people's well-being than wealth.
Researchers in New Zealand analysed the findings of three studies that included a total of 420,599 people from 63 countries, spanning nearly 40 years. The key finding was that money leads to autonomy, but it does not add to well-being or happiness.
The studies looked at data from three different psychological tests familiar to therapists:
- The General Health Questionnaire, which measures distress in terms of anxiety and insomnia, social problems, severe depression and physical symptoms of mental distress, such as unexplained headaches and stomach aches.
- The Spielberger anxiety inventory, which evaluates how anxious respondents feel at a particular moment.
- The Maslach Burnout Inventory, which screens for emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and lack of personal accomplishment.
These findings provide an insight into predictors of well-being at the social level.
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