Money and happiness: Over $75K doesn't matter
September 1st, 2010
02:13 PM ET

Money and happiness: Over $75K doesn't matter

Who are the happiest Americans? According to a new study, they may be extroverted, earning more than $75,000 a year, healthy, and engaged.

The analysis was conducted by Keirsey Research, an organization that looks at how personality relates to a person's preferences in  consumer choices, political opinion, and a variety of other factors.

The survey looked at 3,900 adults ages 18 to 70 who had completed the Keirsey Temperament Sorter II, a personality test. Participants answered questions about how happy they were with life overall, then provided a variety of information about their gender, employment, marital status, and other elements of their lives. Because they had also completed a personality test, survey analysts were able to also look at that in relation to happiness.

They found that the three highest factors affecting happiness are personality type, household income, and health. About 74 percent of extroverts are happy, vs. 56 percent of introverts. That's a larger gap than Kip Parent, CEO of Keirsey.com, expected, but it makes sense in terms of how people with different personalities operate, he said.

"Extroverts recharge themselves through contact with other people and introverts recharge themselves through solitary time," Parent said. "Maybe it’s that when we're drawing our energy externally through other people, that gives us a little bit more positive charge."

For household income, 73 percent of those earning above $75,000 per year were happy, vs. only 59 percent for those under $50,000. It's perhaps not surprising that money brings happiness to some extent, but the survey found that $75,000 is the "magic point": Beyond that, greater incomes do not seem to bring greater happiness, Parent said. Similarly, below $50,000, people were consistently less happy.

And for health, 72 percent of people who say they're in "excellent" or "very good health" are happy, vs. only 39 percent who say their health is "only fair" or "poor."

"Lots of money doesn’t buy happiness, but certainly having enough money helps a lot," he said.

In general, more happiness comes with age, as several studies have reported in the past. But there is an age bracket where happiness dips noticeably: among 35- to 44-year-olds. Parent suggests that is because issues with children are the heaviest, and related it to another finding of the survey: that people with children who are separated or divorced tended to report unhappiness.

When it comes to relationships, people who are engaged are the happiest, whereas those who are separated but not divorced are the least happy, the survey found. But after coming out of the limbo of separation, people seem to be happier, Parent said. Married people are somewhat happier than divorced people, but even they have about average happiness, he said.

And here's the political piece: Democrats and Republicans have about the same level of happiness; members of the Green Party said they were the least happy, followed by Libertarians.

"The unhappy people seem to be the people with stronger views," he said.

soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. RUSH

    Money cant buy happiness but it can get celebs out of jail faster at least...woot

    September 1, 2010 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      But it has been a long belief that money can rent happiness. 😉

      September 1, 2010 at 14:49 | Report abuse |
    • dirkK

      Your'e right. Personally, I don't believe money can buy happiness. I believe it can only buy lots and lots of cool things that make me happy.

      September 1, 2010 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
    • made of beans

      of course it does! being poor sucks @$$

      September 1, 2010 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
    • Megamike

      Money can't buy happiness, but it sure lets you shop for it in a better neighborhood!

      September 1, 2010 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
    • NikolaTesla

      The only people that say that are the ones that have never had any!

      September 1, 2010 at 18:15 | Report abuse |
    • El Gordo

      Are you people nuts? Of course money can buy happiness.

      1. Try being poor for a week.

      2. Money can buy education, medical care, psychotherapy, travel, books, delicious food, good drink, a nice home, and a host of problem solvers like accountants, lawyers, private detectives, bodyguards, etc.

      3. A psychologist told me once that many women are strongly attracted to wealthy powerful men. It's not so much that they want the money as they want the man. Some women are attracted to tall, dark, handsome, strong me. Some women are attracted to "bad boys" so they can get on the emotional roller coaster. Some women are attracted to athletes. Some women are attracted to wealthy men.

      September 1, 2010 at 18:30 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Money can't buy health, although it can help. Money can't buy love, although it can get you out of a bad situation. Money can help, but it's not the whole answer.

      September 1, 2010 at 19:20 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Money will not make a person happy. It will only give a person options. The smart ones, educate themselves on how to best invest their discretionary income to last over the long term rather than squander it.

      September 2, 2010 at 10:50 | Report abuse |
    • dajackg

      ... and it lets you pick any kind of misery you want.

      September 2, 2010 at 12:13 | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    So in this economy it seems that it might be easier to become and extrovert than to get a lot of money in order to become happier?

    September 1, 2010 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Donna

      Supposedly 85% of jobs come from networking. I think being an extrovert is a HUGE advantage here.

      September 1, 2010 at 18:45 | Report abuse |
  3. Joe

    Yes, yes and screw the rest of us.

    September 1, 2010 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. JJ Stuart1

    Don't believe everything you read; there are always exceptions to every rule.

    September 1, 2010 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chris

      yes that's why they used PERCENTAGES!!!!!

      September 1, 2010 at 15:30 | Report abuse |
  5. Peter in Seattle

    It's nice to see that the editors at cnn.com are proofreading the posts. Good grief. "It's perhaps not surprising that money brings money to some extent, but the survey found that $75,000 is the "magic point": Beyond that, greater incomes do not seem to bring greater happiness, Parent said. Similarly, below $50,000, people were consistently less happy."
    Clearly "money brings money" was not intended and is a typo. Although possibly a true statement (yes it does take money to make money) from the context it's pretty clear that "money brings happiness" was intended. CNN – if you need to hire a proofreader with a college education please feel free to contact me. You have my email address!

    September 1, 2010 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FP613

      LOL, its a recession, give them a break!

      September 1, 2010 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Totally, such a biased article.

      "For household income, 73 percent of those earning above $75,000 per year were happy, vs. only 59 percent for those under $50,000. It's perhaps not surprising that money brings happiness to some extent".

      Come onnnn, they didn't correlate that to the fact that Married people are more happy than Divorced people, and a couple is going to have a higher household earning than a single income household?

      September 1, 2010 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
  6. Joe

    Who writes this garbage?

    September 1, 2010 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Manny Calavera

      Joe, do us all a favor and do not comment if you really don't have anything to say, which you obviously don't.

      September 2, 2010 at 08:36 | Report abuse |
  7. Larry in Atlanta

    What...? Did we pay another $1M in stimulus to find this out???

    People that are outgoing, wealthy, and healthy are happier than people that are social outcasts, dirt poor, and sick every day.

    Big Shock!!

    September 1, 2010 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Navin

      hahahaha. good one.

      September 1, 2010 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • Iain

      I take it you're not one of the happy ones, then?

      September 1, 2010 at 15:36 | Report abuse |
  8. myopin

    I can tell you why extroverts are happy. Because they dont wait for things or people to happen to them, they go out and make it happen. They extend their hand, invitations, etc.... And of course if we were all in the exciting stages of 'engagement' and had lots of money, we would be happier too.

    September 1, 2010 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      Extroverts are "happy" because they whittle away their time in constant contact/communication with others without spending time in self-reflection.

      September 1, 2010 at 20:19 | Report abuse |
  9. Odd

    " It's perhaps not surprising that money brings money to some extent," WTF?

    September 1, 2010 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. taquanda

    now that we have universal health care, the government should equalize the wealth in america so that everyone makes $75k or more. Then we'll all be happy.

    September 1, 2010 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Houston

      Not all of us–only 73% of us will then be happy.

      September 2, 2010 at 08:56 | Report abuse |
  11. Kevin F

    I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the negative comments here are from introverts with colds.

    September 1, 2010 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jahn

      actually introverts w/ colds who are on welfare

      September 1, 2010 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
  12. lucky

    What does this mean:
    "It's perhaps not surprising that money brings money to some extent, "

    September 1, 2010 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Cart_in_front_of_horse

    Like most of these studies, the "scientists" confuse correlation for causation.
    Could be that happy people are more likely to be extroverts, happier people make more money, and happier people are healthier.
    The article tries to say these things make you happy, but it's possible that being happy is caused by something else and these things happen because of being happy.
    If the people doing the studies had spent $$$ for one more class, they could have learned this very simple concept. Of course admitting they don't know what-causes-what means they likely wouldn't get CNN posting stories about the work.

    September 1, 2010 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jfinger

      so it's not smoking the causes lung cancer, it's people who have lung cancer tend to smoke

      September 1, 2010 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
    • MXD

      Cart – you got THAT right. Seems like happiness for CNN is writing articles for people with lesser educations who think you're actually informing them of something significant.

      September 1, 2010 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
    • Cart_in_front_of_horse

      "finger – so it's not smoking the causes lung cancer, it's people who have lung cancer tend to smoke"

      Nope. There is a very clear path of events that can be traced for smoking and lung cancer. Not so with happiness and the long line of events that lead to someone's place in life. This would be especially true relating to people reporting that they have "good health" and study most likely did not check the health of the people, but asked them about their health.

      I could tell you without reading the story that happy people are more likely to report they are in good health. Happy people are less likely to complain about a runny nose. In this case, the "happy" really can come before the health.

      September 1, 2010 at 16:05 | Report abuse |
    • Manny Calavera

      Cart seems to think he is Cthulhu's gift to mankind, and his "results" are really just the result of his own superiority complex.

      September 2, 2010 at 08:46 | Report abuse |
    • Cart_in_front_of_horse

      "Manny Calavera – Cart seems to think he is Cthulhu's gift to mankind, and his "results" are really just the result of his own superiority complex."

      Straight to personal attacks huh? While I appreciate the obscure reference to Cthulhu, the rest of your post doesn't add much value to the discussion about the topic.

      September 2, 2010 at 12:53 | Report abuse |
  14. ash

    so people who are healthy, wealthy, and in good relationships are happy....
    newsflash! next up on CNN: do bee's think? a report suggests, that no, they do not
    join us tomorrow night on useless news

    September 1, 2010 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. MyCoke

    The argument is more like "People who make enough money not to have to live paycheck to paycheck and worry about paying the bills, are happier" – Otherwise, you would see happiness continue to increase after 75K.

    September 1, 2010 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jessica

      Although, it could be said that people making under $75,000 – in most area's of the country – shouldnt have to live paycheck to paycheck. They made bad choices to get into debt, thusly, they are living paycheck to paycheck. Speaking from experience...had I not gotten so much debt, id be leaving quite comfortably (and happily) right now. Only myself to blame. Heck, without zero debt...I could live comfortably on half my income...which would be under $20K

      September 1, 2010 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      – Jessica

      You have absolutely no idea whatsoever what circumstances puts a person in debt. That's such a blanket statement to just assume that because someone is in debt that they didn't manage their money. I'm sorry, maybe that scenario works 100% of the time when you're looking at another episode of "Friends" on tv, but in real life, nothing is predictable, unless you come from a family that has money to always bail you out in hard times. Other than that, not everyone was irresponsible that got themselves in debt. And if anything was proven by that, this past recession that started before Pres. Obama was sworn into office shows that.

      There are many people in the US that got into debt from just medical bills alone. Great credit, great job with income, great savings account, 401k, great insurance etc. Doesn't mean anything when you still have to come up with $40,000 – $250,000+ to help save your life. But of course no one wants to really talk about that reality in the US.

      September 1, 2010 at 16:26 | Report abuse |
  16. jjdecor

    Happiness is a choice and I choose happiness. I'm a happy healthy introverted single person who makes less than 75k.

    September 1, 2010 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • donny

      you were happy until you read this article. now you feel like loser.

      September 1, 2010 at 15:57 | Report abuse |
    • donny

      you were happy until you read this article. now you feel like a loser.

      September 1, 2010 at 15:57 | Report abuse |
    • 11811

      Happiness is a choice. People can chose to make the best of their situation. However, sufficient means to provide for the basics; food and shelter – can contribute a lot to happiness. Once basic needs are met, money, friends etc doesn't necessarily improve happiness.

      September 1, 2010 at 19:24 | Report abuse |
  17. MXD

    Perhaps "extroverts" are extroverted BECAUSE they're happy, and "introverts" don't like to be around people because they're unhappy and they know it. What unhappy person likes to be around other people??

    September 1, 2010 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anachronism

      Whoa, whoa, whoa.... you're saying that correlation isn't causation? Who are you and what have you done with the usual cnn.com reader?

      September 1, 2010 at 16:20 | Report abuse |
    • mjva

      More like introverts think too much. I'm a brooding intellectual, but healthy as a horse and make plenty of $$. My sense of humor keeps me happy...and the daily endorphin rush from exercising. I can be very extroverted socially but need quiet time to intellectualize and read. Being around people for too long make me feel physically drained so I recharge with quiet time.

      September 1, 2010 at 17:11 | Report abuse |
    • Manny Calavera

      Maybe introverts just don't see much benefit in being around self-absorbed nitwits, like yourself.

      September 2, 2010 at 08:50 | Report abuse |
  18. Jack

    The guy in the picture looks happy. The babe hanging from his shoulder is gorgeouis and she might be his escort for the weekend. That would make me happy too. Yep, really happy, especially if my wife didn't find out about it.

    September 1, 2010 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. A Brown Skinson

    Tell you what – I'd be happy, too, if I was engaged to that hot chick in the picture!! Then again, looking at the size of that diamond – must have cost $50 G's!! ok, I'm back to being unhappy.

    September 1, 2010 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • billdo

      this dude's happy now but wait til he plunks down $50k for a wedding only to realize this chick's got him by the gonads for the rest of his life and those "special" things she used to do for him are off the menu. Then he'll have a couple of kids and that $75k salary doesn't go as far as it used to and he'll work himself to death trying to keep everyone else happy.

      September 1, 2010 at 16:08 | Report abuse |
    • Truth

      So tell us Billdo, just how much did YOUR ex take you for?

      September 2, 2010 at 12:59 | Report abuse |
  20. Queen Lattice

    Wow, you mean people who make a lot of money and are about to get married are happy people? And they seem happier than broke single or broke married or broke divorced people? -you don't say! (my, how the sarcasm is dripping...)

    September 1, 2010 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Badumppppp

    rock your bodayyyyyyyyy, back it up, back, back it up...rock that body side to side, now back it up again...shaking my ace in the clud all night, sleep till 4 and comment on CNN.....tick tock tick tock, rock it out, heyyyy look at this, i'm moving like disco machine on the dance floor on the comment board wooooooooooooo i got monaaay and i'm engaaaaged, and i'm healthayyyyy and i am indeed an extrovert so believe what you heard cnn

    September 1, 2010 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Huh?

      you crazy

      September 1, 2010 at 16:15 | Report abuse |
  22. tom

    OK, I make over 75k but I'm still not happy, probably because of paying for my twins in college. So they don't make much money but are very happy, I make a decent living and would be much happier if they would finish college soon 😉

    September 1, 2010 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Jack's Wife

    Trust me Jack, happiness is NOT something you will have to worry about for a LONG time...

    September 1, 2010 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tom

      Hahaha, that's epic...........Jack, need a dog house 🙂

      September 1, 2010 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
  24. Jack's Mistress

    don't worry about your wife jack, i'll take care of you ; )

    September 1, 2010 at 16:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jack's Wife

      ohhhh really missy? i'll take you down baby, i'll take you down to china town!!

      September 1, 2010 at 16:14 | Report abuse |
  25. Captain Slapaho

    I think the guy in the pic is happy because the gal is nekkid...

    September 1, 2010 at 16:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Ellie

    That's funny! money doesn't buy happiness, money buys relief from the everday stressors that plague the poorer segment of society. and how exhuberant would one expect of people squeezed in like rats in public housing and the like, day after day?

    September 1, 2010 at 16:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Yvette

    If you live on your own island and can surround yourself only with people you really, really like and don't have to get up and go to work before dawn and come home after dark only to watch the channel 7 news of horrors while massaging your feet and you can get in your sail boat and catch your fresh fish dinner with no effort at all and then sit back and watch the sunset and count the stars displayed across the peaceful dark night sky without having to worry about waking up the next day to pay a ton of bills, or have to face a pimple faced frowning boss who wants to know why you are 3 minutes late and how come you want more pay and you never have to see a subway or hear an ambulance siren or encounter a rude new yorker ever again in life then you are happy... unless of course when you go to sleep at night all your mind can do is replay over and over the horrors mentioned here until you run from your bed looking for something, anything, to set your mind at rest and give you peaceful, happy dreams of those who don't have a care in the world and never will.

    September 1, 2010 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Denizen Kate

      Good grief! You need a really large chunk of cheese to go with that whine! Try this: whenever you feel down, thinking you've had a bad day, listen for that ambulance siren. It means that someone else is having a much worse day than you. Get some perspective.

      September 1, 2010 at 19:44 | Report abuse |
  28. Rakshya

    This is the most ridiculous research story I have ever seen. You have somehow left me unconvinced about everything you are talking about. They are basing a report on 3,900 people? Do they not realize that there are 310 million people living in the United States in 2010? Please don't waste our time with articles like this.

    September 1, 2010 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Donna

      You need to learn some statistics. It is very valid.

      September 1, 2010 at 18:54 | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      Comment was @ Rakshya.

      September 1, 2010 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
  29. docliptz

    I make 90k as a psychiatrist working from home. "Dr. Timothy Liptsvitch" is the name, headshrinking is the game.

    September 1, 2010 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. mina

    this article should be called "OBVIOUS THINGS WE WASTED MONEY TO DO RESEARCH ON"

    September 1, 2010 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jeanster

      Using the word "research" very loosely.

      September 1, 2010 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
  31. Gr8fuldude

    Actually the reason the woman in the pic is so happy is because the guy just showed her how he can touch his own forehead with his tongue...

    September 1, 2010 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Nicole

    Making $75K or more doesn't make you happy if you have to spend every minute of the day including weekends to make that money. 🙁

    September 1, 2010 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Karol

      Absolutely right!!! No-one ever lies on their death bed wishing or thinking "I wish I'd spent moe time @ the office" Lol!!!! Rewind to Sept 11th...no one from the ill-fated planes called their bankers or stock brokers to find out how their money was doing,. they all called their loved ones to telkl them the only three words that really matter – I LOVE YOU. Sooner we get it, the better, happier and healthier (literally) we will be. Love (real love), not the perverted kind so readily sought and marketed by media and others...but the kind that looks out for another, does unto others as we would have them do unto us. THAT is the answer folks. It's not rocket science!

      September 1, 2010 at 22:26 | Report abuse |
  33. Chris

    This should be common...money doesn't buy happiness...HOWEVER being able to live comfortably goes hand in hand with money.

    September 1, 2010 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. not ... really

    Who are the happiest Pakistanis? According to a new study, they may be those whose children and family did not drown.

    September 1, 2010 at 16:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Ryan H.

    I make around $450,000 a year and am a lot happier then when I was making $75,000. The more money you make the happier you are, period.

    September 1, 2010 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joseph

      And I bet the women in your group are a lot prettier. Just the way it is.

      September 1, 2010 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
    • jeanster

      And younger.

      September 1, 2010 at 17:06 | Report abuse |
    • A Brown Skinson

      Hot women gravitate towards money and power. Cold (to us poor, powerless types) but true.

      September 1, 2010 at 19:48 | Report abuse |
  36. MR. and MRS.

    this is funny: "Married people are somewhat happier than divorced people, but even they have about average happiness" I guess happiness lies where you are surrounded with good people with positive attitude, and of course money in your pocket. And, if you have just the right partner you can take all the positive attitude and can make it even if you are earning short of $75,000.

    September 1, 2010 at 17:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. jeanster

    Wealth is in the eye of the beholder. I remember bringing my elderly mother a large print book. She commented, "Now, I'm rich!" If you are happy, it takes very little to stay happy.

    September 1, 2010 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. saywhat

    you mean to tell me that household income and health directly contribute to happiness?????? thank god for this study

    September 1, 2010 at 17:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. CATom

    Money can't buy happiness but you can use it to hide the fact that you have an adams apple like lady gaga.

    September 1, 2010 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Truth

      Lady Gaggaah is both a retard and a liberal stooge.

      September 1, 2010 at 17:24 | Report abuse |
  40. Texas Pete

    Wow, engaged rich people are happiest. Next on CNN, our investigation on "Is water wet?"

    September 1, 2010 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. CH

    Not surprised that $75K is the tipping point since that is basically the poverty line in California.

    September 1, 2010 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Donna

      If the study were limited to Cal, the amount necessary for happiness would be much higher.

      September 1, 2010 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
  42. Wen

    Actually Rakshya, depending on how the 3,900 people were selected for the study, that is a very large sampling. The researchers use statistical analysis methods to draw conclusions about the entire population based on smaller samples. They obviously can't poll every single person. This is the way almost ALL statistics are figured.

    On the other hand, these guys are obviously idiots!! They missed the whole semester on causation vs correlation.

    September 1, 2010 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Manny Calavera

      Maybe you're the idiot "thinking" that they did not do that...

      One might presume that what is contained in this article is a brief, made-for-news-media synopsis that doesn't include any causative reasoning, while the actual body of the study results would indeed include that. Like many people of average intelligence, you now think you are equal to the best because you can find any answer without having invested yourself into anything at all, except your own self-glorification.

      September 2, 2010 at 08:56 | Report abuse |
  43. Dan

    3,900 people is statistically enough to apply the results to the general population. Like WEN said, there maybe some issues with causation and correlation.

    September 1, 2010 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Jeremy

    Money can put your mind at ease. If you have 1500 coming in a week vs 400 – YOU would be a LOT happier. You can afford to put half decent food in the fridge, pay your bills, enjoy some cable TV, etc. Living on minimum wage can be miserable. People who say they aren't happy with 75k NEVER have felt poverty.

    September 1, 2010 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Vivelena

    Keyword "Engaged". After marriage is a different story!! Lol!

    September 1, 2010 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. josh

    This is lame. You link to a pay site for their stupid-ass personality profile. They don't TELL you there's a price until AFTER you fill out a bunch of stuff for them- sooooooo weak.

    How much did they pay for that?

    You should go to http://www.humanmetrics.org and get it free.

    September 1, 2010 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nom

      I think the link you meant was http://www.humanmetrics.com/ – the .org web site is just a useless domain placeholder. Also, you don't have to pay for the Keirsey test. You can choose the free version and get only those results, then go elsewhere for your Jungian typology or other information. Personally, I'd like to see that used in a test like this instead.

      Aside... it's not just the 'duh' factor on this one. It's all the other factors that weren't approached at all. A couple of people have already addressed the missing causality vs. correlation; how about societal adjustment? As an introvert, I can tell you for sure that we have created a culture where extroversion is an expectation, and there is little respect for an introvert's return to their necessary 'recharging' circumstance. This information isn't just obvious; it's useless, suggesting nothing new and moving in no applicable direction.

      I'm always skeptical of studies like this, even if they have a pretty good sample size and aren't directly related to a specific marketing effort. I can't see what kind of questions these people answered to define their happiness, whether there was any breakdown to individual or household income, how much that parses out to with however many people are in the household, etc...

      September 1, 2010 at 20:22 | Report abuse |
  47. Danilo

    I will not mention religion or scientific facts, but I will say there are countless factors affecting our happiness. Your financial status, your relationship status and health are some factors that drive peoples happiness in North America. But I believe influences from the media, websites, news articles if repeated enough will manifest a desire of happiness that a capitalistic government would want for its public. Capitilism blinds what's outside our nation, that's why when people travel to any 3rd world country, their experiences of humility and love from other people who don't have much is life changing. North America has alot of diversity and different cultures at different statuses. In my opinion a further investigation or study of happiness of how cultures and different customs differ from one another in the US would be more interesting since global traditions and values are everwhere in the US.

    September 1, 2010 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 11811

      I do think you are right. The present media feeds image of material items and fame. Many people think they have to chase that life style rather than be who they are or recognize the blessings they have. We are creating a society with an entitlement mentality. As long as people think they are owed something, they won't be happy.

      September 1, 2010 at 19:29 | Report abuse |
    • Nom

      Absolutely. News articles like this perfectly suggest to the unsuspecting that money can't buy you happiness, but maybe money can, or should have something to do with happiness... combined with all the other media influences most people are faced with daily – 5 hours of TV per day on average in America – we are brined in propaganda.

      Entitlement – ouch, and yes. It's why we are suing each other, divorcing one and other for assets, failing to resolve conflict in the face of loss. Humility has turned into something reserved for those with nothing to lose. God forbid we should continue to divide ourselves further.

      Take money out of the picture. Look at what you do have and can do, not what you don't have and can't do, or should have and be able to do. Nothing but our perception must change to find happiness.

      September 1, 2010 at 20:38 | Report abuse |
  48. Permslinger

    Ill be happy when i see "Jack's" wife slap his mistress around on " jerry Springer"

    September 1, 2010 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Why

    Ok I need to earn 12k more a year and I will be happy. That's good to know. *rolls eyes*

    September 1, 2010 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. heather

    Wow. People with more money, sex, and good health are happier! No kidding CNN?

    September 1, 2010 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.