Money = Happiness!

July 2, 2013

It seems that money can buy happiness but only if you spend it in the right way. In their new book, Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton lay out the five principles for turning cash into pleasure:

  • Buy experiences. Activities like concerts, days out and vacations are more satisfying than buying objects.
  • Make it a luxury. Only have your favourite things occasionally, that way you will continue to enjoy them.
  • Buy time. Extra time and the freedom to do what you want are more satisfying than money.
  • Delay gratification. Having to wait will make you appreciate things more, so buy now and experience later.
  • Treat others. Spending money on other people makes us happier than spending it on ourselves.

What’s this got to do with business? To pick one of the above – Make it a luxury – this can be used to shape behaviour by using the power of scarcity. People are programmed to want things more if there is limited availability (the power of ‘sales’); and if it’s memorable, which can of course be enhanced by having to wait (the power of anticipation)…

Book: Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton (Simon & Schuster, 2013)

Talk: Great presentation by Michael Norton:

Your brain on a slow website…

November 16, 2012

Twitter mood predicts the stock market

August 23, 2011

Does emotion operate at a societal level? Does mood influence the way in which we collectively make decisions? It would seem so. There’s all sorts of stuff out there now on ‘sentiment tracking’ and whether it’s linked to measures of economic activity like the stock market. Well, interestingly, it seems that global emotion and mood, as measured via something like Twitter, does predict stock market activity. Indeed trading seems to lag behind positive or negative Tweeting! Or, if you’re using the fancy stuff, tweets analysed in terms of the Google Profile of Mood States (Calm, Alert, Sure, Vital, Kind and Happy). And no, I’m not making this stuff up. And yes, you’re right, there’s money to be made here!

Read one of the original papers at:

Also, if you’re quick, you can listen to this BBC Radio 4 programme on the topic: Word of Mouth: Counting Word Incidences

Smartphone or smart marketing?

May 16, 2011

It seems your Smartphone use predicts your social life, travel interests, risk of disease and even your political views. Have a look at this post on Dr Shock’s blog (links to Wall Street Journal video):

Make mine a mega skinny choco-macchiato with extra sprinkles!

April 6, 2011

Have you ever wondered why coffee shops use such weird names? Does it send you into something of a dither when you’re trying to make a choice? Bingo! That’s exactly what’s supposed to happen. Tall, grande, venti… they all sound quite big don’t they; and that’s no accident because it turns out that consumer psychologists have had their sticky paws all over the naming process.

And the bottom line?  If you don’t have a particular reason for picking something, you tend to go for the one in the middle. The result: if you’re selling coffee (pizzas, soft drinks, chips, anything) put the one you want to sell the most of in the… middle. So a three-way choice actually turns out to be a middle-way choice. I wonder if this applies to politics as well.

Picture credit: Surachai/


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 89 other followers