Past research has shown that opting for shared experiences such as vacations and theatre tickets will lead to more long-term happiness than will buying material goods. The research was co-authored by Leonardo Nicolao and Julie Irwin of the University of Texas McCombs School of Business. "Previous studies have only tested happiness with positive experiences versus positive material purchases," said Irwin, associate professor of marketing. "Experiences 'stay with' us longer than material purchases, whether good or bad. They simply have more lasting power over our happiness."
New happiness research demonstrates when material items are the best option