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Various studies show that material things only bring short-term happiness and that the biggest pay out lies in experiential purchases. But that shouldn’t dampen down people who like to shop because in a study from the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, material things provide more frequent happiness over time, whereas experiential purchases, like a trip to the zoo, provide more intense happiness on individual occasions.
“The decision of whether to buy a material thing or a life experience may?boil down to what kind of happiness one desires. Consider a holiday shopper deciding between tickets to a concert or a new couch in the living room. The concert will provide?an intense thrill for one spectacular night,?but then it will end, and will no longer provide momentary happiness, aside from being a happy memory. In contrast, the new couch will never provide a thrilling moment to match the concert, but will keep the owner snug?and comfortable each day throughout the winter months,” says The University of British Columbia’s Aaron Weidman, one of the study authors. If you want to reap the benefits of both, think about the sort of happiness you want?to achieve.