How to make it easier to save money
Plus, how awe affects kids
“Awe is encountering vast mysteries that we don't understand.” – psychologist Dacher Keltner
Save it. Saving money is tough, but the right kind of goal could make it a bit easier. In a new study, researchers found that people are more likely to reach their savings goals when those goals are tailored to fit their personality traits. The study referenced a group of personality traits known as “the Big Five”: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. For example, if you’re a highly agreeable person, you might have more luck saving if your goal is designed to help someone else, such as your child or a parent. If you’re someone who measures high in openness (put simply, you like to try new things), you might be better suited to a goal to save for travel. “While saving toward one goal might be motivating for one person, it may not be so for another,” the study concluded. “We need to better understand what motivates an individual to make the sacrifice now and wait for a reward in the future.”
Awww. What is awe, anyway? Psychologist Dacher Keltner says it’s “the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your understanding of the world.” Like, you know, Iggy Pop. In a study Keltner co-authored with Eftychia Stamkou and others, awe sparked prosocial behavior in kids. The researchers showed children between the ages of 8 and 13 movie clips that either elicited a sense of awe, joy, or a neutral response. The kids who watched the awe-inducing video were more likely to spend time on a helpful task. In another experiment, they received a snack for completing the task, and it seems watching the awe video made kids more likely to donate the snack to refugee families. “They also exhibited increased respiratory sinus arrhythmia, an index of parasympathetic nervous system activation associated with social engagement,” the study concluded. The researchers say that awe makes us feel small, which helps shift our attention outward. And there are small ways to find more of it in your everyday life.
Getting unstuck. Sometimes, life can feel like being stuck on a treadmill. No matter how hard you try to feel happier, you end up back where you started. What’s going on here? Listen to find out.
ON THE HIDDEN BRAIN PODCAST
Feb 27: Many of us rush through our lives, chasing goals and just trying to get everything done. But that can blind us to a very simple source of joy that’s all around us. This week, in the fourth and final installment of our Happiness 2.0 series, psychologist Dacher Keltner describes what happens when we stop to savor nature, art, or simply the moral courage of those around us.
ON THE MY UNSUNG HERO PODCAST
Feb 28: When he was a teenager, Bob Cialdini received some helpful advice from an unlikely source.
Don’t forget to send us the story of your unsung hero! Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to email@example.com.
If five cats can catch five mice in five minutes, how long will it take one cat to catch one mouse?
LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
What common English verb becomes its own past tense by rearranging its letters?
The answer: Eat
FROM THE TWITTERATI…
A MOMENT OF JOY
The joy of greenery