Money CAN buy you happiness, when you spend it on others.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia and the Harvard Business School have found that it’s possible to buy happiness after all: when you spend money on others.

In a series of studies, UBC Asst. Prof. Elizabeth Dunn found that individuals report significantly greater happiness if they spend money “pro-socially” — that is on gifts for others or charitable donations — rather than spending on themselves. Her findings will appear in the March 21 edition of the journal Science.

“We wanted to test our theory that how people spend their money is at least as important as how much money they earn,” says Dunn, who teaches in the UBC Dept. of Psychology and is lead author of the study.

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