Does Happiness Come From Things Or Experiences?

According to some research I’ve just been reading (for my book on personality), money spent on nice experiences produces more happiness than money spent on material goods. The pleasure in objects fades as we get used to them but the pleasure of a nice experience goes on for years as we recall the memories.

I certainly go along with that. I’d much rather spend money on a snowboarding trip than on a three-piece suite. And, fortunately, my partner feels the same. My personal theory has long been that it’s important to have not just nice experiences but powerful nice experiences otherwise they won’t be adequately seared into the memory and too easily become lost. On that basis, my decision to have a crack at surfing between books was a good one. Things like trying to stand up on a wobbly plank, falling off said plank, and being pounded on the head by said plank all make for vivid memories. And, it was nice, too.

Use the Comment box to let us know what you think. Euro for euro, pound for pound or dollar for dollar, what produces the most happiness? A nice object or a nice experience?

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