More can mean less when it comes to being happier -- especially if you are neurotic

June 9, 2012

New research from the University of Warwick suggests getting more money may not make you happier, especially if you are neurotic.

In a working paper, Dr Eugenio Proto, from the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) at the University of Warwick, looked at how can affect the way we feel about our in terms of levels of life satisfaction.

He found evidence suggesting that neurotic people can view a pay rise or an increase in income as a failure if it is not as much as they expected.

Neuroticism is a fundamental personality trait in psychology and refers to a tendency to experience . People with high levels of neuroticism have higher sensitivity to anger, hostility, or depression.

Dr Proto, who co-authored the paper with Aldo Rustichini from the University of Minnesota, said people who are on a high salary and have high levels of neuroticism are more likely to see a payrise as a failure.

He said: "Someone who has high levels of will see an income increase as a measure of success. When they are on a lower income, a pay increase does satisfy them because they see that as an achievement. However, if they are already on a higher income they may not think the pay increase is as much as they were expecting. So they see this as a partial failure and it lowers their ."

Dr Proto, who will be presenting the research at next month's ESRC Research Methods Festival, used data from the British Household Panel Survey and the German Socioeconomic Panel.

He added: "These results suggest that we see money more as a device to measure our successes or failures rather than as a means to achieve more comfort."

Explore further: Study suggests people with neurotic personality traits do not enjoy growing older as much as peers, may need extra help

More information: The paper, Life Satisfaction, Household Income and Personality Traits, Eugenio Proto and Aldo Rustichini, is published as a CAGE working paper n.86

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not rated yet Jun 09, 2012
This is not good news after reports that the US economy is analogous to a neurotic person.

Personally though I see why people with lots of stuff would need exponentially more as more time passes in order to feel the same level of happiness.

All I can say is that it does not bode well for humanity.

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