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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Nov 12 2013
Purpose & Wealth

The Cost of Thinking about Time as Money

As we get deeper into the fall and winter, our days are shrinking, and we may feel as though time is slipping through our fingers. What should and shouldn’t we do to derive the most purposeful experience from our time? A recent paper that looked at the effect of thinking about our time in monetary terms provides an interesting answer to this question. 

By Oren Shapira, Alex Shaw
Oct 28 2013
Purpose & Wealth

The Fragility of Pursuing Happiness Through Money

It can be very difficult to find purpose in money alone. Why is this the case and how can we better infuse our lives with purpose? Find some answers in our post about a recent paper by Dr. Christopher Boyce and his colleagues.

By Alex Shaw, Oren Shapira
Sep 30 2013
Purpose & Wealth

Experimenting with Purpose: When Does Money Buy Happiness?

Can money buy happiness? Not according to popular wisdom. However, recent research shows that if you resist the temptation to spend it on material goods for yourself, money can in fact help you pave a path to happiness. Read more in the first in our series of guest posts by graduate students from the NPP network, by Ashley Whillans.

By Ashley Whillans
Sep 24 2013
Purpose & Wealth
Purpose & Well-Being

Avoiding Distractions to Achieve One’s Purpose

It is easy to become distracted from achieving one’s purpose, which is especially true for those in poverty. We discuss recent research that suggests people in poverty are especially vulnerable to constant distractions because of financial worries. We then discuss how NPP research hopes to help people avoid getting lost in these distractions on their way to achieving their purpose.  

By Alex Shaw
Aug 01 2013
Purpose in Goal Pursuit
Purpose & Prosocial Behavior
Purpose & Wealth

Making Progress on the Path to Purpose

Sam Simon, co-creator of The Simpsons, recently vowed to donate the majority of his fortune to support animal rights because with animal rights one can see fast progress. What can New Paths to Purpose research teach us about this and other concerns when making decisions about charity?

By Oren Shapira, Alex Shaw
Jul 25 2013
Purpose & Wealth

Inside the Science of Purpose: Eugene Caruso

Professor Eugene Caruso, in the first interview on our “Inside the Science of Purpose” series: “I consider myself fortunate to have a job that enables me to ask questions that I find inherently interesting… to help other people understand and achieve their own personal goals more effectively.”

By Oren Shapira, Alex Shaw
Mar 18 2013
Purpose & Wealth

Getting Your Mind Right

Entrepreneur and New Paths to Purpose Associate Fellow for Strategic Field Research Michael Lindenmayer provides thoughts from the field on two mindsets that might powerfully lead people toward, or away from, a life of noble purpose.

By Michael Lindenmayer
Jan 27 2013
Purpose & Wealth

Can the Path of Prosperity be a Noble One?

There are countless examples of individuals using money to help other people and support virtuous causes. Are they merely successfully resisting the corrupting effects of wealth, or might money actually be encouraging or facilitating their better impulses? Our “Purpose of Wealth” research agenda explores this and related questions.

By New Paths to Purpose Staff, Oren Shapira

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