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Topic : Time, not material goods, 'raises happiness'
2022호 5면
 
TITLE : Time, not material goods, 'raises happiness'

Time, not material goods, 'raises happiness'



Multi-tasking

 

 


Using money to free-up time is linked to increased happiness, a study says. In an experiment, individuals reported greater happiness if they used £30 ($40) to save time - such as by paying for chores to be done - rather than spending the money on material goods. 

 

Psychologists say stress over lack of time causes lower well-being and contributes to anxiety and insomnia. Yet, they say even the very wealthy are often reluctant to pay people to do the jobs they dislike. "In a series of surveys, we find that people who spend money to buy themselves more free time are happier - that is they have higher life satisfaction," said Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, a psychologist professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Rising incomes in many countries has led to a new phenomenon. 

 

From Germany to the US, people report "time famine", where they get stressed over the daily demands on their time. Psychologists in the US, Canada and the Netherlands set out to test whether money can increase happiness levels by freeing up time. More than 6,000 adults in the US, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands, including 800 millionaires, were asked questions about how much money they spent on buying time. The researchers found that less than a third of individuals spent money to buy themselves time each month. Those who did reported greater life satisfaction than the others.
 

The researchers then devised a two-week experiment among 60 working adults in Vancouver,

 

Canada. On one weekend, participants were asked to spend £30 ($40) on a purchase that would save them time. They did things like buying lunches to be delivered to work, paying neighborhood children to run errands for them, or paying for cleaning services.

 
On the other weekend, they were told to spend the windfall on material goods. Material purchases included wine, clothes and books. The research, published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found time saving compared with material purchases increased happiness by reducing feelings of time stress. "Money can in fact buy time. And it buys time pretty effectively," said Prof Dunn, who worked with colleagues at Harvard Business School, Maastricht University and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. "And so my message is, 'think about it, is there something you hate doing that fills you with dread and could you pay somebody else to do that for you?' If so, then science says that's a pretty good use of money.''The psychologists say the study may help those who feel obliged to do a "second shift" of household chores when they come home from work. "I think our work perhaps provides an escape route out of the second shift," Prof Dunn added. Past research has found that people who prioritize time over money tend to be happier than people who prioritize money over time.

 

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40703519

 

Comprehension

According to the article, what is linked to increased happiness?
What contributes to anxiety and insomnia?
What is the phenomenon wherein people get stressed over the daily demands on their time?
Who set out to test whether money can increase happiness levels by freeing up time?
How many millionaires were asked questions about how much money they spent on buying
time?
How many individuals spend money to buy themselves time each month?
How long was the experiment that was held with 60 working adults in Vancouver?

Discussion

Do you agree with what the article has stated?
If you had money to hire people, would you rather pay people to work for you or would you do
the work on your own?
Do you sometimes feel like you lack time to do the things you love?
What do you spend too much time doing?
Do you have more free time now than when you were a kid?
There is a saying that goes, “Time is money.” Do you believe in this?
Is there something you wish to do in your free time but can’t?

Vocabulary

free-up – to make available for use something that is currently occupied, otherwise employed,
or subject to a restriction
well-being – the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy
reluctant – unwilling and hesitant
famine – a shortage
windfall – a piece of good fortune or financial gain
dread – fear