Elizabeth W. Dunn, Lara B. Aknin, Michael I. Norton
As children, we are often told by our parents that it is better to give than to receive; that we will get more enjoyment, fulfillment, and happiness from giving to others than from taking for ourselves. It turns out our parents were on the right track. In a recent article published in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science, Elizabeth W. Dunn (University of British Columbia), Lara B. Aknin (Simon Fraser University), and Michael I. Norton (Harvard Business School) reviewed research suggesting that when it comes to money, spending it on others really pays off. In a 2008 study, Dunn, Aknin, and Norton gave people $5 or $20 and told them to spend it on themselves or told them to spend it on someone else. The people who spent the money on others reported being happier than those who spent the money on themselves.