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The illusion of ambition

Refer to attached document and answer the following questions:

1. Do you agree with the statement: money buys happiness. Why or Why not?

2. Does it make sense for people to pursue money?

3. Households demand money in order to purchase goods and services for their standard of living. Therefore the average income per household is often used to measure a country's standard of living (GDP per capita). What other factors do you think contribute to a decent standard of living?


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In this article, the author describes how money fails to elicit happiness in those who obtain it. They are blinded by the illusion of ambition, causing them to believe it will make them happier when in fact it cannot. He proposes some possible reasons for this. Firstly, we compare our income to those around us, and only derive satisfaction from this when we compare favorably. Secondly, sensory adaptation causes us to quickly adjust to changes in our circumstances. So, no permanent increase in happiness results from changing circumstances.

The author finds that the sensory adaptation argument is the most convincing. When surveys attempt to determine if people at higher incomes are happier, they fail to account for the fact that those at higher incomes will have recently had a large ...

Solution Summary

The relationship between money and happiness