Thursday, May 13, 2004

Earn Your $$

Saw an interesting story today on the wires. It said there is evidence that people who had to earn their money rather than being given it (whether inheriting it or winning it) found more satisfaction in spending it than their counterparts.

An excerpt:

Lottery winners, trust-fund babies and others who get their money without working for it do not get as much satisfaction from their cash as those who earn it, a study of the pleasure center in people's brains suggests.
Emory University researchers measured brain activity in the striatum - the part of the brain associated with reward processing and pleasure - in two groups of volunteers. One group had to work to receive money while playing a simple computer game; the other group was rewarded without having to earn it.
The brains of those who had to work for their money were more stimulated.
"When you have to do things for your reward, it's clearly more important to the brain," said Greg Berns, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science. "The subjects were more aroused when they had to do something to get the money relative to when they passively received the money."
Berns and other researchers said the study has broader real-world implications, particularly in the age of multimillion-dollar lottery jackpots.
He said that other studies have shown "there's substantial evidence that people who win the lottery are not happier a year after they win the lottery. It's also fairly clear from the psychological literature that people get a great deal of satisfaction out of the work they do."

It makes sense to me....although I have to say I wouldn't turn away a fortune that has fallin' in my lap. I'd just have to think of all the ways of spending it that could make me happy. Starting with a honeymoon...I work a lot now, so having more free time would make me very happy.

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