The Idea of More is Less is True for Neurotics

Does money really make us happy? According to new research, money helps us measure our success or failure but does not help us be happier.

For the study, Dr. Eugenio Proto, an economist from the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy at the University of Warwick, used data from British Household Panel Survey and the German Socioeconomic Panel.

He will be presenting the research at next month's ESRC Research Methods Festival, according to a press release.

Some people see money as scale by which they measure their success and where they stand in the society. A raise in pay makes them look good in front of others.

A neurotic personality is characterized by excessive stress, anger or irritation.

"Someone who has high levels of neuroticism will see an income increase as a measure of success. When they are on a lower income, a pay increase does satisfy them because they see that as an achievement. However, if they are already on a higher income they may not think the pay increase is as much as they were expecting. So they see this as a partial failure and it lowers their life satisfaction," Dr Eugenio Proto said.

Making money, according to an earlier study, has been negatively associated with well-being. Making money to compare oneself to peers, to overcome some self-doubt or to spend without thinking are also not considered as factors that affect happiness. In this study, researchers found that college students who studied business were more likely to be highly motivated to make money rather than people who studied other subjects.

"These results suggest that we see money more as a device to measure our successes or failures rather than as a means to achieve more comfort," Dr Proto said.

Personality types, experts say, also govern the way we react to pain. A study published in The Clinical Journal of Pain says that neuroticism was linked with poor pain management.