It's How You Spend It

One thing I'm constantly saying is that whether or not money helps make you feel better depends on what you do with it. This study says that it's nice to spend money on other people, which is, believe it or not, a way of spending money. But would spending money on other people make us happier if we didn't think it made them happier? Suppose we made a big circle with millions of people in it and everyone handed a $5 bill to the person on their left. Would we be happier?  Maybe that's why we like Social Security so much! (That's a joke. But how long before someone tries to use this study to argue that taxes make us happy?)