In a recent essay for The Atlantic, Arthur Brooks rehashes an age-old debate: Does earning more money make us happier? It sounds like a purely hypothetical query — the sort a bunch of sophomores would dissect over a midnight spliff. But there is legitimate science backing the answer that it actually becomes more difficult to find happiness once our annual income reaches a certain inflection point.
Earlier this year, an economist named Matthew Killingsworth riffed on a popular study from 2010, which found that “experienced well-being” levels out once people start making $75,000 (in that year’s dollars) in yearly salary. His new 2021 study was intended to poke at that research a bit, and deduced that people can discover new levels of well-being, even if they’re making more than $75,000.