您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 观点 >> 正文

金钱和时间,哪一样会带来更大的幸福感?

更新时间:2016-9-15 14:06:01 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

What Should You Choose: Time or Money?
金钱和时间,哪一样会带来更大的幸福感?

Given the choice between more time or more money, which would you pick? For a beach vacation, you might pay more for a direct flight to gain a couple of extra hours getting sand between your toes. On the other hand, you might take a better-paying job that requires late nights at the office.

得到更多时间或者更多金钱,二选一,你选哪个?去海滩度假时,你或许会多花一些钱乘坐直达航班,好让自己多享受几个小时细沙在脚趾缝间流淌的感觉。另一方面,你或许又会接受一份薪水不错但需要在办公室加班到深夜的工作。

One of us, Professor Hershfield, recently faced such a choice. He was invited to teach a weekend seminar out of state. But he had a baby girl at home, born 12 weeks earlier. The pay would offset the costs of child care, but the job would require two days of not oohing, aahing and bonding with the baby.

最近,我们当中的一人——赫什菲尔德教授——也面临着类似的选择。有人邀请他到其他州为周末研讨班讲课。但他家有一个女宝宝,12周之前刚刚出生。讲课费足以弥补请人看孩子的费用,不过如果接了这份工作,他有两天的时间都无法和宝宝粘在一起,咿咿呀呀地交流。

The value of the money was easy to quantify. But it was harder to put a value on the amount of time that would be lost with the family. He determined that there were only 222 weekends left before the baby would start kindergarten, when quality family hours would give way to car pools to friends’ houses.

这笔钱的价值很容易量化。但给将要失去的陪伴家人的时间计价却很困难。他发现,再过222个周末,宝宝就得上幼儿园了,届时,家人之间的欢聚就得让位给拼车去朋友家玩耍了。

Which would lead to greater happiness — the money or the time?

金钱和时间,哪一样会带来更大的幸福感?

For a research project, we put this question to more than 4,000 Americans of different ages, income levels, occupations and marital and parental status. In a paper in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, which we wrote with our student Uri Barnea, we found that most people valued money more than time. Sixty-four percent of the 4,415 people we asked in five surveys chose money.

为了开展研究,我们把这一问题抛给了年龄、收入水平、职业、婚育状况各异的逾4000名美国人。我们和学生乌里·巴尔内亚(Uri Barnea)共同撰写了一篇论文,发表在了《社会心理与人格科学》期刊(Social Psychological and Personality Science)上。我们发现,大多数人更珍视金钱,而非时间。五次调查中的4415名受访者,有64%选择了金钱。

Is money the right choice? We had also asked our survey respondents to report their level of happiness and life satisfaction. We found that the people who chose time were on average statistically happier and more satisfied with life than the people who chose money.

选择金钱是正确的吗?我们还让受访者报告了幸福程度和生活满意度。我们发现,平均而言,选择时间的人比选择金钱的人更幸福,对生活也更满意。

So money may turn out to be the wrong choice.

这或许可以证明选择金钱是错误的。

But maybe this result simply shows that the people who chose money are more financially constrained and therefore less happy. To check this, we also asked respondents to report their annual household income along with the number of hours they work each week (to measure how much time they have).

不过,调查结果也许仅仅表明,选择金钱的人在财务上受到更大的羁绊,因此幸福感较低。为了验证这一点,我们还让受访者报告了他们的家庭年收入,以及他们每周工作的小时数(以便计算他们究竟有多少时间)。

We found that even when we held constant the amount of leisure time and money respondents had (as well as their age, gender, marital status, parental status and the extent to which they valued material possessions), the people who chose time over money were still happier. So if we were to take two people who were otherwise the same, the one who chose time over money would be happier than the one who chose money over time.

我们发现,即便是让受访者拥有的时间和金钱(以及他们的年龄、性别、婚姻状况、育儿状况、重视物质财富的程度)保持恒定,更看重时间而非金钱的人依然更幸福一些。因此,如果有两个人,除了一个更看重时间、另一个更看重金钱以外,其他方面都一模一样,那么前者会更幸福。

Our research isn’t claiming that having more of either resource is better or worse for happiness. Other research examines the relationship between wealth and happiness and suggests, for example, that more income is positively related to happiness up to a certain point ($75,000, in the United States) and that life satisfaction continues to increase with income beyond that point.

我们的研究不能证明,更多地拥有这两种资源中的任何一种,对提高幸福感而言是好是坏。其他一些研究探寻了财富和幸福之间的关系,其结论包括:收入达到一定高度之前(在美国为每年7.5万美元),收入水平和幸福程度呈正相关;收入达到那个高度之后,生活满意度仍会随着收入水平的提高而上升。

But our research does show that the value individuals place on these resources relative to each other is predictive of happiness.

但我们的研究也的确表明,人们对两种资源的相对重视程度,对幸福程度具有预示性。

Why? The people in our studies who chose time over money thought about the resources differently and had different intentions for how they would spend the time or money gained. Unlike those who chose money, who were more likely to be fixated on not having enough, people who chose time focused more on how they would spend it, planning to “spend” on wants rather than needs (e.g., cultivating a hobby versus completing chores at home) and on other people rather than themselves — two expenditures that have previously been linked to elevated levels of happiness.

到底为什么呢?在我们的研究中,选择时间而非金钱的人,会用不同的角度看待这两种资源,对如何花掉自己获得的时间或金钱会有不同的想法。跟选择了金钱而更有可能被欲求不满之感束缚的人不同,选择时间的人更看重的是,如果花掉时间,他们会想要把它花在所愿而非所需上面(例如,是培养一种爱好还是在家做家务),花在其他人而非自己身上——这两种时间支出早前被研究者发现和更高的幸福程度有关。

If, when answering our opening question, you chose money, don’t worry. We have presented this choice as a reflection of a stable preference, but there is room for change. When we asked a group of our respondents to make this choice again a year later, some (25 percent) changed their mind. Moreover, when we conducted an experiment in which we asked people to focus on the value of time (by listing reasons they would want more time), they subsequently felt happier than the people whom we had instructed to focus on the value of money (by listing the reasons they would want more money).

如果你在回答我们的开放式问题时选择了金钱,也别担心。我们把这一选择视为一种稳定偏好的反映,但其中并非没有转圜的余地。当我们在一年后让一组受访者重新选择时,一些人(25%)改变了主意。此外,在一项实验里,比起受我们引导关注金钱价值的人(通过列出他们想要更多金钱的理由),受我们引导关注时间价值的人(通过列出他们想要更多时间的理由)后来觉得更幸福一些。

In our pursuit of happiness, we are constantly faced with decisions both big and small that force us to pit time against money. Of course, sometimes it’s not a choice at all: We must earn that extra pay to make ends meet. But when it is a choice, the likelihood of choosing more time over more money — despite the widespread tendency to do the opposite — is a good sign you’ll enjoy the happiness you seek.

在追求幸福的过程中,我们经常面临或大或小的抉择,迫使我们在时间与金钱之间做出判断。当然,有时它根本不是一个选择问题:我们必须赚更多钱,好维持收支平衡。但如果可以选择,决定拥有更多时间而非金钱——尽管普遍的倾向与之相反——的可能性是一个良好的信号,显示你会享受自己追求的幸福。

So, did Professor Hershfield take the trip and earn extra money toward child care or stay home to have more time with his baby? He had the benefit of our research, and he chose to stay home.

那么,赫什菲尔德教授是去了外地赚那份超过请人照看孩子费用的钱,还是留在了家里花更多时间陪伴孩子?看了我们的研究成果,他决定留在家里。

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表