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      Are the benefits of prosocial spending and buying time moderated by age, gender, or income?

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      PLoS ONE
      Public Library of Science

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          Abstract

          In the last two decades, social psychologists have identified several key spending strategies that promote happiness such as making time-saving purchases (buying time) and spending money on others (prosocial spending). Although the emotional benefits of these two spending strategies are well-documented in the current literature, it is unclear whether the effectiveness of these strategies vary depending on individual characteristics. To address this research gap, we surveyed an economically diverse sample of 15,545 Americans about their subjective well-being, spending behavior, personal values and beliefs, as well as demographics including age, gender, and income. Across demographic groups, spending money on others was robustly related to happiness. Spending money on others was also associated with greater happiness regardless of whether participants believed that they would be happier spending money on others. In contrast, the relationship between buying time and happiness was somewhat less reliable. Although gender and personal income did not moderate the relationship between buying time and happiness, the relationship was only marginally significant for men, and non-significant within each income bracket. Our results also indicated that those who valued money over time were significantly happier when they used money to buy time, whereas those who valued time over money reported similar levels of happiness whether or not they bought time. Taken together, the present research shows that the relationship between prosocial spending, buying time, and subjective well-being is largely consistent across the different demographic groups we examined.

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          Most cited references32

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          The Satisfaction With Life Scale.

          This article reports the development and validation of a scale to measure global life satisfaction, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Among the various components of subjective well-being, the SWLS is narrowly focused to assess global life satisfaction and does not tap related constructs such as positive affect or loneliness. The SWLS is shown to have favorable psychometric properties, including high internal consistency and high temporal reliability. Scores on the SWLS correlate moderately to highly with other measures of subjective well-being, and correlate predictably with specific personality characteristics. It is noted that the SWLS is Suited for use with different age groups, and other potential uses of the scale are discussed.
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            Subjective well-being.

            Ed Diener (1984)
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              New Well-being Measures: Short Scales to Assess Flourishing and Positive and Negative Feelings

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS One
                plos
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                9 June 2022
                2022
                : 17
                : 6
                : e0269636
                Affiliations
                [001] Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
                Carnegie Mellon Univeristy, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2317-2310
                Article
                PONE-D-22-04151
                10.1371/journal.pone.0269636
                9182255
                35679298
                3cf85e93-519d-40e1-8573-d0e2ef90675f
                © 2022 Lok, Dunn

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                History
                : 10 February 2022
                : 24 May 2022
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 5, Pages: 13
                Funding
                The authors received no specific funding for this work.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Psychology
                Emotions
                Happiness
                Social Sciences
                Psychology
                Emotions
                Happiness
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Psychology
                Behavior
                Prosocial Behavior
                Social Sciences
                Psychology
                Behavior
                Prosocial Behavior
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Neuroscience
                Cognitive Science
                Cognitive Psychology
                Social Cognition
                Prosocial Behavior
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Psychology
                Cognitive Psychology
                Social Cognition
                Prosocial Behavior
                Social Sciences
                Psychology
                Cognitive Psychology
                Social Cognition
                Prosocial Behavior
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Psychology
                Social Psychology
                Social Cognition
                Prosocial Behavior
                Social Sciences
                Psychology
                Social Psychology
                Social Cognition
                Prosocial Behavior
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Psychology
                Emotions
                Social Sciences
                Psychology
                Emotions
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Research Design
                Survey Research
                Surveys
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Age Groups
                Adults
                Elderly
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Age Groups
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Research Design
                Survey Research
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Age Groups
                Adults
                Young Adults
                Custom metadata
                All materials, raw data and codebooks are available at https://osf.io/eqadp/.

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