Spending money on experiential purchases makes people happier than buying material goods, reveals new study.
Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University said that this research offered important information for individual consumers who are trying to "decide on the right mix of material and experiential consumption for maximizing well-being."
He further added that research was also important to society because it suggested that overall well-being could be advanced by providing an infrastructure that affords experiences, such as parks, trails, beaches, as much as it does material consumption.
The researchers discovered that people thinking about impending experiential purchases, such as ski passes or concert tickets, have higher levels of happiness than those who anticipate spending money on things. They also found that the act of actually waiting in line to make a purchase may be more pleasant for those intending to spend money on an experience.
The researchers speculated that there might be several factors that could explain these findings, like people might think about future experiences in more abstract ways that could make them seem more significant and more gratifying.
It's also possible that waiting for an experience induces less competition than waiting for material goods. Finally, anticipating experiences might confer greater social benefits, making people feel more connected and happier overall.
The study is published in Psychological Science.