People invariably believe that money can make them happy -- and rich people usually do report being happier than poor people do. But if this is the case, shouldn't wealthy people spend a lot more time doing enjoyable things than poor people?
Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman has found, however, that being wealthy is often a powerful predictor that people spend less time doing pleasurable things, and more time doing compulsory things and feeling stressed.
People who make less than $20,000 a year, for example, told Kahneman and his colleagues that they spend more than a third of their time in passive leisure -- watching television, for example. Those making more than $100,000 spent less than one-fifth of their time in this way -- putting their legs up and relaxing. Rich people spent much more time commuting and engaging in activities that were required as opposed to optional. The richest people spent nearly twice as much time as the poorest people in leisure activities that were active, structured and often stressful -- shopping, child care and exercise.