A Critique of "If Money Doesn't Make You Happy, Then Probably You Are Spending It Wrong"

1229 Words5 Pages
Beryl Jose
English Composition II -1020-76-Y
Professor Megan Donelson
June 22, 2014
A Critique of Elizabeth Dunn, Daniel T. Gilbert, and Timothy D. Wilson's
"If Money Doesn't Make You Happy, Then You Probably Aren't Spending It Right"
Many great philosophers like Aristotle and Beckett have tried to define and explain how and where we can find happiness. These days researchers and scientists are focusing on trying to define happiness through scientific terms to dispute the controversy regarding the definition of happiness. Each person's definition of happiness varies widely and the vast number of literatures on happiness doesn't help us answer the question. In an attempt to help consumers maximize their happiness through proper ways of spending money, positive psychologists Elizabeth Dunn, Daniel T. Gilbert, and Timothy D. Wilson have defined eight principles of happiness in "If Money Doesn't Make You Happy, Then You Probably Aren't Spending It Right" in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.
As per Dunn et. al., the eight principles of happiness are to buy experiences instead of things, use money to help others, indulge in many small pleasures rather than buying few large ones, avoid buying extended warranties and overpriced insurances, delay consumption, consider the peripheral aspects of your decision making, beware of comparison shopping, and follow the herd instead of your head. In his paper, Dunn et. al. says that "[m]oney is an opportunity for happiness", and that people often don't use these opportunities because of ignorance about the things that gives them happiness (Dunn 438). Although Dunn et. al. has presented many convincing points, a careful analysis reveals certain contradictory aspects of the principles.
In the first principle, Dunn et. al. tries to convince people to spend money on experiences rather than material things. The reason they give

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