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To do or to have

February 11, 2009

Which makes you happier – a brand new car or a month-long vacation to, say, Europe?

Which one bothers you most – the friend who bought a new car or the one who just returned from the fantastic European holiday?

A recent study in San Francisco concludes that experiences make a person happier than posessions.

It need not be expensive trips but simple acts of sharing, bonding and other things that you remember long after the excitement of a new car fades.

Now the study, involving 154 people, was conducted on San Franciscans. These are Bay Area residents, people who never experienced starvation, war and pestilence as far as I know.

Makes me wonder, what if they conducted the study, say, in the Yangtze delta or Somalia. Will they get the same results?

Will the study survive the kiasuism in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong? 🙂

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2009 9:09 am

    If anybody has to decide between a new car and a trip to Europe, take the car. Advice from a resident of the European Union.

    Hahaha, I’d say the same if anyone wants to come visit Singapore in these times. Save your money. 🙂

  2. February 11, 2009 9:34 am

    I doubt it will. Many people in Asian countries treat money and MATERIALS more important than experiences. Even if they do go for Europe trips or outer space, they will brag n brag about it with tonnes of proofs (photos). 😛

    That’s what I suspected, although I believe they’ll change their minds after they past 60 years old. That’s when they realize they can’t bring their new car to that “other place.” 🙂

  3. LC Teh permalink
    February 11, 2009 10:15 am

    Q1: Either one.
    Q2: Neither one

    A new car gives me peace of mind for at least a few years. No need to listen to some new strange squeaky sounds under the chassis. No need to hang around workshops looking at ugly old greasy spareparts.

    Like who cares if someone gets a brand new car or just had a fantastic holiday. Congrats. Have fun…

    Question to ask: Who’s doing the research?

    The research was done some professor of psychology at San Francisco State University. Keeping up with the Joneses is a big feature of Kiasuland unfortunately. Probably not so important if you live in a place like Bhutan.

  4. February 11, 2009 11:04 am

    Ahh, I can see this applied in Malaysia websites now. LOL! We’ll get nowhere with it but blur faces going, “experiences? what experience?”.

    Funny that you mentioned it. I did set up a method to score user experience for websites once, together with a way to grade over-the-counter service experience. It was fun. 🙂

  5. LC Teh permalink
    February 12, 2009 11:16 am

    Hahaha… I must be living in Bhutan-tani or somewhere nearby. Or is it my age? But I don’t know how to explain about some old folks still clamoring to keep up with the Ah Soh or Ah Sok next door even if it’s just a new set of dentures…

    Proves that competition is built right into our genes, hehe. 🙂

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