Prosocial Spending and Well-Being: Cross-Cultural Evidence For a Psychological Universal

Michael Norton, Harvard Business School, USA
Lara Aknin, University of British Columbia, Canada
Chris Barrington-Leigh, University of British Columbia, Canada
Elizabeth Dunn, University of British Columbia, Canada
John Helliwell, University of British Columbia, Canada
Robert Biswas-Deiner, Centre for Applied Positive Psychology, USA
Imelda Kemeza, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda
Paul Nyende, Makerere University Institute of Psychology, Uganda
Claire Ashton-James, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
People around the world derive happiness from spending money on others. Prosocial spending is associated with greater happiness in 120 out of 136 countries; both actual and recalled prosocial spending impacts happiness across countries differing in wealth (Canada, Uganda, and India). Happiness from helping others emerges in diverse cultural contexts.
[ to cite ]:
Michael Norton, Lara Aknin, Chris Barrington-Leigh, Elizabeth Dunn, John Helliwell, Robert Biswas-Deiner, Imelda Kemeza, Paul Nyende, and Claire Ashton-James (2012) ,"Prosocial Spending and Well-Being: Cross-Cultural Evidence For a Psychological Universal", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 40, eds. Zeynep G├╝rhan-Canli, Cele Otnes, and Rui (Juliet) Zhu, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 13-17.