Does happiness have a price tag?

Benjamin Wallace: Does happiness have a price tag?

About this talk

From the TED site:

Can happiness be bought? To find out, author Benjamin Wallace sampled the world’s most expensive products, including a bottle of 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc, 8 ounces of Kobe beef and the fabled (notorious) Kopi Luwak coffee. His critique may surprise you.

The upshot

Wallace’s ‘grueling quest’ is amusing, but if you just want the upshot, it’s this:

He ends by describing a study from researches at Stanford and CalTech. They gave participants the same wine labeled with different price tags.

Unsurprisingly, many participants said they preferred the more expensive wine.

But surprisingly, MRI brain imaging performed on the participants showed that their brains registered more pleasure for the wine with the (fake) higher price tag.

My take: The happiness, it seems, is real. We only think we need money to buy it.

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