For this discussion, I chose Ana Sandoiu’s article, “Money Only Buys A Certain Kind of Happiness, Study Shows.”(Link). In Sandoiu’s (2017) article, it examines research that shows correlation between what types of happiness areachieved and how that relates to an individual’s income. The primary variables we see in this research is the incomelevel as the independent variable and the levels, or types, of happiness achieved by the tested individuals as thedependent variable (Myers and Twenge 2018) (Sandoiu 2017.) In the article, it explains that Jake P. Moskowitz and PaulK. Piff, Ph.D conducted a research study of 1,519 Americans to determine if a higher income level is related to a higherlevel of happiness (Sandoiu 2017.
) This research was completed by asking the surveyed group of Americans withvarying income levels a variety of questions that implicate seven different emotions that people typically associate withhappiness (Sandoiu 2017.) Sandoiu clarifies, “The emotions were amusement, awe, compassion, contentment,enthusiasm, love, and pride (2017.)” After concluding the study and analyzing the data, the findings seem to indicatethat people who have a higher income experience different sets of the tested emotions that determine happiness whencompared to those of lower incomes (Sandoiu 2017.)It was found that those who had a higher income were more likely to experience emotions that focused on themselves, such as pride, contentment, and amusement.By contrast, those with a lower income had a stronger tendency to experience emotions centered on others, such as compassion and love.
Those with a lower income were also likelier to feel awe and an overwhelming sense of beauty in the world. (Sandoiu 2017.) The title of Sandoiu’s article appears to make more of a causal claim that having money, or an income at all, willprovide a certain kind of happiness. As discussed in in our textbook, this claim is causal because it applies a directcause of a specific type of happiness to money, even though that cannot be specifically determined (Myers and Twenge2018.) With regard to the research itself, I think that it does only prove a correlation between the variables of incomeand types of happiness as opposed to a causal relationship as the study of what types of happiness result in a personwho has a high or low income level cannot specifically be proven to be a direct cause.
For example, the research foundthat individuals with a high income have higher happiness levels in terms of their sense of accomplishments, but thatsense of accomplishment is not necessarily proven to be a direct result of income (Sandoiu 2017.) It is possible, that thedependent variable of happiness in the sense of accomplishments could be experienced by an individual due to theirpersonal growth from a difficult childhood or their success in setting up a charity for others, both of which are completelyseparate from that individual’s income level. Variables such as religious upbringing/backgrounds and/or even size offamily could both impact the types of happiness an individual may feel. Both of those variables could influence whattypes of positive emotions an individual feels because both variables can impact the emotions studied such as pride,personal accomplishment, compassion, love, etc. (Sandoiu 2017.) References:Myers, David and Jean Twenge. 2018. Exploring Social Psychology, 8th ed.
New York: McGraw-Hill.Sandoiu, Ana. 2017.
“Money Only Buys A Certain Kind of Happiness, Study Shows.” Retrieved Jan. 25, 2018 (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320410.php)