“Money can’t buy you happiness” is the old trope — likely started by someone who didn’t have any — however, a new study shows folks who suddenly found themselves flush actually felt pretty good about it.
Researchers out of the University of British Columbia took $2 million given by wealthy donors and broke that into $10,000 chunks, distributing them to 200 recipients in seven countries.
The only caveat was they had to spend it, not save it.
According to the study published in the medical journal PLOS One, “By comparing cash recipients with a control group that did not receive money, this preregistered experiment provides causal evidence that cash transfers substantially increase happiness across a diverse global sample.”
Long story short, that infusion of cash made them happy.
And the poorer the residents were, the happier they informed the researchers they were. In fact, “Those in lower-income countries gained three times more happiness than those in higher-income countries” who got the dough, according to the study.
However, you didn’t have to be poor to enjoy the free money: People at income levels up to $123,000 had “detectable benefits” of the $10,000. Since 99% of people don’t make that much money, there were a lot of smiling faces out there — and their levels of happiness remained higher for several months than the folks who didn’t get the cash.
Survey questions, methodology and results have not been verified or endorsed by ABC News or The Walt Disney Company.