Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Does Hourly Pay Bring Happiness?
New research shows that money makes people happy and if someone is paid by the hour they are even happier. This strange study was done by Jeffrey Pfeffer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Sanford DeVoe of the University of Toronto. They studied both British and Americans who were paid hourly vs. salary wages and compared their general happiness. The surveys showed that pay determines the happiness of hourly workers more than it does for people paid a salary.
Pfeffer said that the study showed people who are paid by the hour think differently about money, time and happiness. They think about their income regularly and begin comparing the value of their time to the amount of their happiness.
I find this study rather strange. It was published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and I haven't read the entire study but there may be other variables that interfered with the conclusion about hourly pay and happiness.
Most low income people are paid by the hour. Are they really happier than the banking moguls who are getting $million dollar bonuses? Do people who work for minimum wage report they are "satisfied with their life" at a higher rate than salaried people? The study says yes.
I think this is a study that needs to be validated.
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 7:20 AM