Last Updated on March 27, 2023 by Katie Sisel Distributor
How would having more money change your life?
Here is some science that explains why having more money can change everything and why some people want it and others are afraid of it.
[Reference: Extract from article titled: The social lives of rich people, explained]
Way back in 1983, Cyndi Lauper knew that “money changes everything.” Social science is finally starting to catch up.
The latest findings, from Emily Bianchi of Emory University and Kathleen Vohs of the University of Minnesota, illustrate how having more (or less) money can radically alter the fabric of our relationships with other people, changing how often we socialize – and with whom.
In examining several decades of household survey data, Bianchi and Vohs find that as people make more money,they spend more time with friends.
And those gaps get even wider as you move farther out on the income spectrum, as the chart above shows according to a study of 30,000 people.
Bianchi and Vohs note that family members and neighbors provide each other with tangible forms of social support: Your parents might give you financial support for large purchases, or you might rely on a neighbor to mow your lawn or fix your washing machine in a pinch.
“For people with limited financial resources, these social ties are likely to be crucial for managing existing and impending challenges,” they write.
If you rely on this type of support from family and neighbors, it’s in your interest to cultivate these relationships – Mom’s not going to help you with that TV purchase if you haven’t visited in five years.
But people with financial means don’t need to worry about this as much. They pay a guy to mow the lawn, and if the washing machine breaks, they can either pay someone to fix it or simply buy a new one.
Being rich means you can spend your time with who you want, when you want – and that might mean that you spend more time cultivating friendships you’ve built based on shared values and interests. “Money frees people to be socially connected with those they choose rather than those who can provide resources,” Bianchi and Vohs observe.
Social scientists have noticed something of a fraying of the social fabric in recent decades. The number of people saying they have no close friends or family members roughly tripled between 1985 and 2004, and the size of the average close social network has shrunk, too. Robert Putnam famously documented the factors driving these changes in his book “Bowling Alone.”
But Bianchi and Vohs’s work suggests something else may be at work here as well: Inflation-adjusted household income has risen considerably since the World War II era (even if it’s been fairly stagnant in the past decade). And if the relationship between income and social behavior they describe is true, then it’s only natural that decreasing social interactions will be one consequence of that change.
Take it away, Cyndi Money Changes everything…….