Saturday, March 06, 2010

Idle chit chat can make you unhappy

Idle chit chat can make you unhappy
06 Mar 2010

Having a profound conversation can boost happiness levels, but trivial chatter can be depressing, scientists say...

Reporting the findings in the journal Psychological Science, the researchers said the recordings revealed some startling findings.

Greater wellbeing was related to spending less time alone and more time talking to others. The happiest participants spent 25 per cent less time alone and 70 per cent more time talking than the unhappiest.

But the researchers were surprised to discover that the type of conversations people took part in also affected their happiness levels.

The happiest participants had twice as many deep and meaningful conversations and one third as much small talk as the unhappiest...

Keeping up with the Joneses makes you unhappy, economists claim
...and can even drive you to kill yourself, according to academics.
By Martin Beckford, Social Affairs Correspondent
21 Apr 2009

One study claims that workers who constantly compare their earnings with colleagues and friends feel less satisfied with their lives, because it makes them focus on what they haven't got.

Meanwhile separate research presented at the Royal Economic Society's annual conference has found that suicide levels are higher in wealthier areas, suggesting that being surrounded by rich neighbours can make people so unhappy that they decide to end their lives.

The first report concluded: "Man may well be a social animal, but constantly looking over one's shoulder seems to make the world a less happy, and more unequal, place."

The report, carried out by Andrew Clark and Claudia Senik at the Paris School of Economics, found that 75 per cent of Europeans believe income comparisons to be important...

Low-paid workers 'happy for bosses to earn far more money

Workers are happy for their bosses to earn far more money than them because it gives them hope that their own wages may rise one day, according to academics.
By Martin Beckford, Social Affairs Correspondent
Published: 12:01AM GMT 19 Mar 2009

Received wisdom holds that employees who work hard but still struggle to make ends meet are envious of managers who take home larger salaries.

But economists who matched life satisfaction scores from a survey with individual and company payroll records in Denmark came to the opposite conclusion.

Their research suggests that the wide pay gap at many firms does not cause resentment after all, because it allows junior members of staff to believe that they will be promoted and share in their superiors' higher wages in the future.

Badly-paid workers are even more likely to be satisfied with their bosses' higher earnings than better-paid ones, the study found, while men are less envious than women of co-workers' wages.

Researchers, whose study is published in the March issue of the Economic Journal, liken the outlook of these workers to that of motorists stuck in a traffic jam on a dual carriageway. Drivers may be happy even if the other queue of cars starts to move first, because they think this means it will soon be time for their own line to get going....

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