Time = money = less happiness, study finds

February 6, 2012, University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management

What does "free time" mean to you? When you're not at work, do you pass the time -- or spend it?

The difference may impact how happy you are. A new study shows who put a price on their are more likely to feel impatient when they're not using it to earn . And that hurts their ability to derive during leisure activities.

Treating time as money "can actually undermine your well-being," says Sanford DeVoe, one of two researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management who carried out the study, which is to be published in the .

Prof. DeVoe and PhD student Julian House based their conclusions on three experiments. In each, a sub-group of participants was primed, through survey questions, to think about their time in terms of money. This group subsequently showed greater impatience and lower satisfaction during leisure activities introduced during the experiments. However, those put into the sub-group reported more enjoyment and less impatience when they were paid during one of those activities, which was listening to music.

The experiments' results demonstrate that thinking about time in terms of money "changes the way you actually experience time," says Prof. DeVoe. "Two people may experience the same thing, over the same amount of time, yet react to it very differently."

With growth over the last several decades in jobs paid by the hour, it's important for people to be "mindful," of the impact this can have on their leisure enjoyment, he says, and allow themselves "to really smell the roses."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Intensive behavior therapy no better than conventional support in treating teenagers with antisocial behavior

January 19, 2018
Research led by UCL has found that intensive and costly multisystemic therapy is no better than conventional therapy in treating teenagers with moderate to severe antisocial behaviour.

Babies' babbling betters brains, language

January 18, 2018
Babies are adept at getting what they need - including an education. New research shows that babies organize mothers' verbal responses, which promotes more effective language instruction, and infant babbling is the key.

College branding makes beer more salient to underage students

January 18, 2018
In recent years, major beer companies have tried to capitalize on the salience of students' university affiliations, unveiling marketing campaigns and products—such as "fan cans," store displays, and billboard ads—that ...

Inherited IQ can increase in early childhood

January 18, 2018
When it comes to intelligence, environment and education matter – more than we think.

Modulating molecules: Study shows oxytocin helps the brain to modulate social signals

January 17, 2018
Between sights, sounds, smells and other senses, the brain is flooded with stimuli on a moment-to-moment basis. How can it sort through the flood of information to decide what is important and what can be relegated to the ...

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.