A good holiday keeps us happier for longer than buying material possessions, says a new study.
Psychologist Professor Thomas Gilovich, of Cornell University, New York, and colleagues carried out the research into why people get more enduring happiness from experiences than possessions.
AdvertisementThey found that memories of trips away bring us greater joy because they are more individual and harder for us to compare with the holidays of others.
Meanwhile, the gloss is often taken off shiny, new purchases when we see newer, better models owned by other people.
"Your experiences are inherently less comparative," the Daily Express quoted Gilovich as saying.
"They're undermined much less by invidious social comparisons. Imagine you buy a flat-screen TV. You're very happy with it and then find I have a TV with a bigger, clearer picture than yours. That makes you feel a bit disappointed and annoyed.
"But suppose you go on a vacation to the Caribbean instead. You may find out I've done the same, and my holiday sounds better than yours. But your unique connection to the Caribbean is less comparable to mine, so your enjoyment isn't undermined as much," Gilovich added.