*This post is from the cutting edge psychology blog Life Ain’t For Sissies by Dr. Linda Edelstein
Researchers in New Zealand performed a meta-analysis of 638 research studies that asked 420,599 men and women (mean age =37) from 63 different countries about their Health, Wealth and Happiness. They found that a strong sense of well-being could be predicted if a person scored high on individualism, personal freedom and autonomy. Money was found to be useful for buying things and making life comfortable because it gave people choices but, the drive to “DO AS I CHOOSE”, meaning high individualism, personal freedom and autonomy was more important in determining overall well-being.
So, well-being seems to increase as we have the ability to make choices in our lives; it makes sense. Can there be too much of a good thing? Yes, too much individualism separates families and causes anxiety which is not conducive to well being.
Source: Fischer, R. and Boer, D. What is Important for National Well-Being? Money or Autonomy? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Vol. 101 #1, p 164-184, 2011.