People’s beliefs about the relation between money and happiness has always been all over the place throught history, and it may be impossible to determine for sure if money does bring happiness or not, but a study recently published in the Journal of Marketing Research shines some new light in the matter. Hilke Plassmann and Bernd Weber show, in their research, how the price of wines affects its appreciation: wine experts are invited to taste two samples of wine, both of them with price tags of different values. The wine experts have a very strong tendency to enjoy the expansive wine, even though the only difference between the samples is the price tag, and not its content. Additionally, accordingly to another study, when the prices are hidden there is not much differentiation between the appreciation of cheap and expansive wines, and the cheaper bottles even got a slightly higher rate. Plassmann and Weber tried to find and explanation to that issue that bypassed the problem of wine tasting being a science or not, and they managed to do it by using MRI brain scans to analyze how the brain behaves during the tasting. Their results? “Expectation truly influences neurobiological responses”, meaning: if you think the expansive wine is better than the cheap wine, your brain will make it better. This is called the placebo effect, when your brain changes your perception of reality accordingly to your expectations.
What does this have to do with happiness? Everything. People’s beliefs influence their brain chemistry in a level that scientists are not able to completely explain yet, but the conclusion is undeniable: if you believe that money does bring happiness, then it will bring happiness. Based on studies such as Plassmann and Weber, it is possible to go even further and infer that, for most people, more expensive things do make them happy, either because of the way their brain is structured or because of their cultural conditioning.
So, if you didn't notice by the giant image and the impactating quote, I am a huge fan of Patrick Rothfuss. Other than that, I am 23, brazilian, with a normal life full of dreams that are never going to come true. So, you know, the usual.
Final Papel *u*