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

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Talk to babies and let them babble back to bridge word gap

February 18, 2017

Even infants can have conversations with mom or dad. Their turn just tends to involve a smile or some gibberish instead of words. That's a key lesson from programs that are coaching parents to talk more with their babies—and ...

What the ability to 'get the gist' says about your brain

February 17, 2017

Many who have a chronic traumatic brain injury (TBI) report struggling to solve problems, understand complex information and maintain friendships, despite scoring normally on cognitive tests. New research from the Center ...

B vitamins reduce schizophrenia symptoms, study finds

February 16, 2017

A review of worldwide studies has found that add-on treatment with high-dose b-vitamins - including B6, B8 and B12 - can significantly reduce symptoms of schizophrenia more than standard treatments alone.

Emotions are cognitive, not innate, researchers conclude

February 15, 2017

Emotions are not innately programmed into our brains, but, in fact, are cognitive states resulting from the gathering of information, New York University Professor Joseph LeDoux and Richard Brown, a professor at the City ...

People are found to be inefficient when searching for things

February 15, 2017

(Medical Xpress)—A trio of researchers at the University of Aberdeen in the U.K. has found that when people scan areas looking for something in particular, they tend to do so in a very inefficient manner. In their paper ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Cave_Man
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.

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.