Empowering People through Behavioral Science

Purpose & Wealth

In exploring the human experience of purpose, the NPP project has identified several core themes that are particularly significant, and which provide a useful framework for organizing our activities.  This page displays the content from this website tagged for one of those themes: Purpose & Wealth.

Work on Purpose & Wealth is grounded in the question of how one’s pursuit and achievement of purpose is affected by wealth. How does one decide how much wealth to devote to different kinds of significant activities, and how might the investment of money or other resources in the self vs. others relate to the experience and fulfillment of purpose as well as to well-being and happiness? How does wealth relate to the pursuit of personal and prosocial goals? How are personal and prosocial goals affected when one has great wealth, compared to little wealth? See below for content related to our emerging insights.

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Mar 02 2016
Purpose & Wealth
Purpose & Well-Being
Purpose Across the Lifespan

The pain of uncertainty: Why people experience more physical pain during economical uncertainty

We all have experienced times of uncertainty about our finances, and we all know the anxiety and stress that economic uncertainty can bring. Whether we worry about keeping a job, or paying off debt, many of us have lost sleep over feeling economically unstable. But can economic uncertainty have even more far-reaching effects on us? Read here about the unexpected effects of economic uncertainty on our bodies, and why you might need more Advil if you ever lose your job.

By Janina Steinmetz
Jan 31 2016
Practical Tools for Purpose
Purpose & Wealth
Purpose & Well-Being

Finding happiness by choosing time over money

Life is full of decisions, and many of these involve tradeoffs between time and money. We all sometimes lean in one direction and sometimes in the other, sometimes choosing the more expensive direct flight over the cheaper one with a layover to save time, but sometimes choosing to work some extra hours for some extra cash. But what if you’re someone who routinely chooses time over money? Find out how your decisions about time and money can shape your happiness.

By Janina Steinmetz
Dec 12 2014
Purpose & Wealth
Purpose & Well-Being
Purpose Across the Lifespan

How Your Partner’s Personality Might Get You Promoted

Choosing the person that you will marry will be one of the most important and defining decisions you ever make. Your spouse is likely to be a key source of joy, support, purpose, and meaning that is unparalleled by any of your other relationships. While the type of person you marry will directly influence your personal life in countless ways, it is less clear how your choice of partner might affect your success at work. Recent research suggests that the impact of your spouse’s character traits extends well beyond the home — predicting a number of work related outcomes such as overall job satisfaction, income and even likelihood of promotion.

By Brittany Christian, Janina Steinmetz
Sep 09 2014
Purpose in Goal Pursuit
Purpose & Wealth
Purpose & Well-Being

What are you waiting for? Finding joy in the interim

In a world that values immediate gratification, waiting for what we want can seem unpleasant and at times incredibly frustrating. When it comes to the pursuit of purpose, however, patience is key as good things (e.g., graduations, promotions) rarely come easily (or instantly). Although we may wish that we could have everything we want right now, the immediate realization of all of our hopes and dreams may rob us of the excitement that accompanies ‘looking forward’ to the future. Indeed, recent research has revealed that, contrary to cultural thinking, the anticipation we experience while waiting can actually be enjoyable – depending upon what it is you are waiting for.

By Brittany Christian, Janina Steinmetz
Jun 07 2014
Purpose in Goal Pursuit
Practical Tools for Purpose
Purpose & Prosocial Behavior
Purpose & Wealth
Purpose & Well-Being
Purpose Across the Lifespan

NPP Network Members Convene to Discuss Multiple Paths to Purpose

 

The first annual New Paths to Purpose conference held at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business was filled with interesting ideas and discussions. We recap the conference here.

By Alex Shaw, Oren Shapira
May 27 2014
Practical Tools for Purpose
Purpose & Wealth

How You Can Make Your Favorite Coffee Shop Better

Why do some coffee shops feel more like home to us than others? A new study by Gillian Sandstorm and NPP network member Prof. Elizabeth Dunn suggests that the way we interact with service givers can influence our own sense of belongingness to the place.

By Oren Shapira, Alex Shaw
Feb 13 2014
Purpose & Wealth
Purpose & Well-Being

Is It Bad to Help Yourself While Helping Others?

Helping others is a noble thing that can infuse one’s life with purpose. However, recent research suggests that helping others can lead people to negatively evaluate your actions if by helping others you also help yourself. 

By Alex Shaw, Oren Shapira
Jan 27 2014
Purpose & Wealth

Food for the Soul

A new series of studies, conducted among clients of a soup kitchen, suggests an intervention that can help poor people break the vicious cycle of poverty.

By Oren Shapira, Alex Shaw
Jan 17 2014
Purpose & Wealth

Inside the Science of Purpose: Elizabeth Dunn

Professor Elizabeth Dunn, in an interview for our “Inside the Science of Purpose” series: “The goal of our research is to illuminate the psychological factors that ‘flip the philanthropy switch,’ turning the financially successful entrepreneurs of today into the Warren Buffetts of tomorrow.”

By Oren Shapira
Dec 30 2013
Purpose & Wealth

An Unlikely Partnership: Paving the Way to a Purpose-Driven Future

Alexandra Douwes and Nellie Morris, the founders of Purpose Generation, discuss some of the work they have been doing in collaboration with the NPP team led by Professor Eugene Caruso that focuses on Purpose and Wealth. 

By New Paths to Purpose Staff

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