A new scientific study conducted by researchers at the National University Of Singapore found an interesting correlation between wealth or income levels and self-regard emotions.
The researchers found that people who earn higher incomes compared to their counterparts tend to feel upbeat self-regard emotions such as determination, pride and confidence. On the other hand, individuals with low income are more prone to negative self-regard emotions such as shame, fear and sadness. The study findings are currently available in the Emotion journal.
“The effects of income on our emotional well-being should not be underestimated,” noted Dr. Eddie M.W. Tong, the lead researcher in the study.
Financial status has a significant influence on self-regard emotions
The study yielded similar results in developing countries and high income countries. Dr. Tong also commented that having more money is confidence inspiring and can even boost a person’s determination while the opposite is true, where making less money is linked to anxiety and gloom. The study evaluated 1.6 million participants from 162 countries.
The study subjects were also evaluated on emotions that they feel for other people, such as compassion and anger. The researchers did not observe any consistency between income levels and how they felt for other people. They were also not able to establish whether a favorable financial status caused the self-regard emotions such as confidence and pride.
Dr. Tong also noted that individuals with higher incomes were not necessarily more compassionate towards others. The study did not indicate that higher wealth levels contribute to a more tolerant and caring society. The study findings did however make it clear that study subjects with higher incomes had higher self-regard emotions over the long-term while low-income individuals had low self-regard emotions.
The study findings are significant because they highlight the emotional wellbeing of the society. Researchers believe that the emotional wellbeing of individuals in any particular country will improve if governments focus on policies that improve incomes for people, while at the same time focusing on improving the economy so that citizens can benefit. Such measures may improve the overall wellbeing of individuals but the same cannot be said for important emotional experiences pertaining to communal welfare.