KNOXVILLE—’Tis the season to be grateful. And, being grateful for what you have may be the key to happiness, according to research by a professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Jeff Larsen, associate professor of psychology, and Amie McKibban of the University of Southern Indiana investigated whether the maxim “it’s more important to want what you have than to have what you want” is true.
He asked college students if they possessed 52 different material items, such as a car, a stereo, or a bed. They were then asked to rate how much they wanted the items they had and how much they wanted the items they didn’t have. Larsen calculated the extent to which the students wanted what they have and have what they want.
The result? People who want more of what they have tend to be happier. [Read more…]