Do you Collect Things or Experiences?
As Christmas draws closer, many parents will have their shopping lists well under way, however recent research from Cornell University suggests that experiences make people much happier than ‘things’.
Thomas Gilovich, a leading Psychology professor at Cornell University, conducted a 20 year study into the effect of experiences and material possessions on the human mind, and the results were fascinating. For example, he found that, as well as making people happier; experiences were also more likely to enhance a persona’s social skills.
Furthermore, people were more likely to regret material purchases than experiences, even if the experience had been a negative one. To add to this, pleasure surrounding the purchase of possessions was relatively short lived, compared to the pleasure derived from experiences and the resulting memories.
Gilovich has now gone so far as to suggest that companies and Governments make it easier for people to collect new experiences, from businesses making it easier for people to take holiday time, to local councils creating more outdoor activity spaces.
As we enter this biggest shopping season of the year, it’s worth noting this research and thinking about what would make you really happy this Christmas. Is it that new gadget you’ve had your eye on, or could it be a trip away with the family to reconnect and experience something new together? Would a trip to Disneyland Paris or Lapland last longer in your kid’s memories than that expensive toy they’ll play with for five minutes and then discard?
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