If it is experience, you can buy happiness.
We humans spend a lot of time waiting in line: people wait in line for a few days to get the latest iPhone or, in this trendy new brunch, feel like a table.
It may be better to spend time and money on the latter. More and more studies have shown that experience tends to make people happier than material possessions.
Based on Tuesday in a study published in the journal psychological science, even if the concert, ski trip or better experience brunch, also more happy than to buy the latest gadgets.
The study cleverly named “wait for merlot: expected experience consumption and purchase materials”, tracked about 100 college students and more than 2200 randomly selected adults for material products and experience the feeling.
People are excited about things and events. But they tend to feel more positive about experiential shopping, and their feelings about material purchases are more likely to generate impatience.
“I think it has to do with the nature of the imagination,” said Amit Kumar, a PhD in psychology at Cornell university and one of the researchers.
“If you’re waiting to buy an iPhone, you know how many pixels the camera has,” Kumar tells Shots. He says people tend to get very creative when planning for future vacations, just thinking about all the things they’re going to do, and all their fun adds up to their emotions.
Moreover, when it comes to experience, researchers assume that money is not a problem. People may be competitive in keeping up with Joneses, but they tend to be less competitive in experience spending.
One reason may be that experience gives people a chance to combine and socialize, kumar says. Even if you can’t guarantee a concert from a fresh food truck or tucker’s ticket, people usually like to wait in line. “While waiting for concert tickets, people will sing together, or people will play games with each other while they wait,” he said.
In Shots, we’ve shown that. The editor, Scott Hensley, says he can buy Old Ebbitt Grill’s annual Oyster Riot online, but prefers to go downtown in the morning and wait for his Oyster lovers.
That sounds more interesting than the black Friday scuffle on the tablet and Xbox. In fact, kumar and his colleagues compared news reports about people in queues, and found that long waits for material purchases were more likely to end in violence.
We bet no one fights at the oyster party.