According to anew research, a person's overallhappiness is
not based on his bank balance but on the degree of respect andadmiration he
commands in his immediate circle and society.
Psychologicalscientist Cameron Anderson who
works at the Haas School of Business, Universityof California,
his colleagues explored the link between differenttypes of societal status and
a person's well-being.
"We got interested in this idea because there is
abundant evidence thathigher socio-economic status -- higher income or wealth,
higher education --does not boost subjective well-being (or happiness) much at
all. Yet at thesame time, many theories suggest that higher status should
boosthappiness," reports Anderson
in the journal Psychological Science.
Anderson and his colleagues have stated that respect and
admiration in one'simmediate group, such as friend network, neighborhood or
one's athletic teamcan make all the difference, and usher in overall happiness.
believe that having a highstanding in one's local ladder can make one more
influential, generate morerespect, and allows better integration into the
A series of four
studies were carried out byAnderson and his colleagues to confirm their
In the first study,
80 collegestudents who were part of 12 different campus groups were surveyed.
Eachstudent's sociometric status was evaluated through peer ratings,
self-report,and the number of leadership positions held by the student. The
students alsoanswered questions on their gender, ethnicity, household income
In a second study, a
larger andmore diverse group of participants were studied and it was found that the relationship between
sociometricstatus and well-being was influenced by the feeling of power and
socialacceptance that they felt in their personal relationships.
And in a third study,
Andersonand his colleagues revealed that the relationship between sociometric
statusand well-being could be evoked and manipulated experimentally.
In the fourth study
students ina MBA program were evaluated, and the researchers found that the
changesinvolved in the sociometric status from pre-graduation to
post-graduation werelinked to the students' social well-being.
revealed that a person'soverall happiness was boosted through the amount of
respect he received, andthat the sociometric status and not the socioeconomic
status influenced aperson's well being.
Why is it that money cannot buy happiness? It is because
people tend to adaptto the new-found money and its related comforts, and
gradually, their initialhappiness wanes.
Every one seeks
happiness but no one has come upwith a time-tested formula. It is a
well-established fact that those who seekmaterialistic things tend to be less
content than others whose life is builtaround relationships and people. It
ispossible to be rich and happy but being rich need not, necessarily, make
Setting meaningful goals, pursuing a passion,simplifying one's life, limiting one's expectations and focussing on one'shealth and relationships are very ways to follow in one's pursuit of happiness.
Anderson et al:Psychological Science, June -2012.