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每日英語跟讀 Ep.979: It Turns Out Money Can Buy (Some) Happiness美國研究:花錢買時間 讓你覺得更幸福

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每日英語跟讀 Ep.979: It Turns Out Money Can Buy (Some) Happiness美國研究:花錢買時間 讓你覺得更幸福

It’s a question central to daily life: Do you spend money to save time or spend time to save money? Well, if happiness is the goal, you might consider opening that wallet.

That’s the takeaway of a study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, whose findings suggest that spending money to save time may reduce stress about the limited time in the day, thereby improving happiness.

日常生活裡有這麼個核心問題:你要藉由花錢去省下時間,還是花掉你的時間來省錢?如果幸福感是你的目標,不妨考慮打開荷包。

這是本周《美國國家科學院院刊》所發表的一份研究報告的主要訊息,而研究的結果顯示,花錢以省下時間可減輕每天時間有限帶來的壓力,從而提升幸福感。

“People who spent money to buy themselves time, such as by outsourcing disliked tasks, reported greater overall life satisfaction,” said Ashley Whillans, an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School and lead author of the study, which was based on a series of surveys from several countries. Researchers did not see the same effect when people used money for material goods.

In one round, Whillans and her colleagues surveyed nearly 4,500 people in the United States, Denmark, Canada and the Netherlands on well-being and timesaving purchases, such as ordering takeout food, taking a cab, hiring household help or paying someone to run an errand. In another round, using a broader definition of such purchases, they surveyed about 1,800 other Americans.

哈佛商學院助理教授、研究報告主要作者艾希莉·韋蘭斯說:「花錢替自己買時間的人,例如將不喜歡的工作外包出去,告知了較高的整體生活滿意度。」 該研究報告是以來自數個國家的一系列調查為基礎。而當人們用錢買實質商品時,研究人員則未見相同效應。

韋蘭斯與研究夥伴在一次調查中,分析了美國、丹麥、加拿大與荷蘭將近4500人的幸福感,以及為省下時間而從事的購買行為,例如訂購外賣食物、搭計程車、聘用家庭幫傭或付錢請人跑腿。而在另一次調查中,他們放寬了這種購買行為的定義,調查了另外1800名美國人。

About 28 percent of those in the first round and half in the second reported spending money to save time. In both cases, those who made such purchases reported greater life satisfaction than those who did not.

And it didn’t matter if they were rich or poor: People benefited from buying time regardless of where they fell on the income spectrum. (The authors note, though, that may not hold true for the poorest of the poor.)

兩次調查分別約有28%和一半的人表示會花錢來節省時間。而在兩次調查中花錢買時間的人所告知的生活滿意度,都高過沒有花錢買時間的人。

而這也跟受調者的貧富無關:不論他們所得落在哪個層級,都可從花錢買時間受益。(但作者指出,這結論可能並不適用於極度貧窮的人。)

The surveys established a link between buying time and happiness, but the researchers wanted to see whether one causes the other.

So they conducted an experiment with a few dozen Canadians. First, they provided the participants with $40 on two consecutive weekends to spend, as directed, on either timesaving purchases or material purchases, like board games, fancy wine or clothes. Then, they asked the participants their mood at the end of the day.

As the researchers predicted, spending money to save time appeared to reduce time-related stress and increase well-being, while spending on material goods did not have the same effect.

這些調查建立了購買時間和幸福感之間的關聯,但研究人員想確定兩者是否有因果關係。

因此,研究人員對幾十名加拿大人做了實驗。首先,他們連續兩個周末提供參與者40美元,要這些人按照指示將錢用於為節省時間而從事的購買行為,或是棋盤遊戲、高檔葡萄酒或衣服等實質商品之上,之後在一天結束時,研究人員詢問了參與者的心情。

一如研究人員的預測,花錢省下時間似乎減少了與時間有關的壓力且增加幸福感,但實質商品的消費則未產生相同效果。

Soure article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/316894/web/

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