How Can Money Buy Happiness?

This NY Times article about a shift in consumer attitudes caught my eye after I had just posted a recent lecture from Harvard professor, Michael Norton.  In it, he shared his research which found that people found greater happiness from buying “experiences” rather than things.  The NY Times article highlights the challenging environment that retailers find themselves in now with the culprit being…

Analysts say a wider shift is afoot in the mind of the American consumer, spurred by the popularity of a growing body of scientific studies that appear to show that experiences, not objects, bring the most happiness. The Internet is bursting with the “Buy Experiences, Not Things” type of stories that could give retailing executives nightmares.

Do your students agree?  Ask them the three items that they purchased in the past year that brought them the most happiness.