Why Does Giving Away Money Make You Feel Happier?
We've got some good news and bad news here. The good news: A new survey has found that a guaranteed way to make yourself feel HAPPIER is to give away money, even if you're not rich. The bad news: You're not getting that happiness because you're doing a good deed, you're getting that happiness because giving away money makes you feel MORE POWERFUL than POOR PEOPLE.
Michael Norton of Harvard Business School led the study. And he found that donating money plays into a psychological concept called subjective wealth. When you give away money, it makes you subconsciously feel like you're WELL OFF. Because even if you don't make that much money, the fact that you can give ANYTHING away has the psychological impact of making you briefly feel rich.
And, Norton says when you give away money and think about it IMPRESSING the less fortunate people it goes to, that, "fulfills a deeper desire to signal wealth", which makes you feel powerful and happy.