Date of Award

Fall 12-2018

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Randolph Arnau

Advisor Department



This study was designed to expand the field of positive psychology and to investigate the relationship between money and happiness in college students. “Money” was further defined as financial satisfaction, and “happiness” was further defined as overall satisfaction with life for the purposes of the study. Existing psychological research demonstrates that many factors influence overall satisfaction with life, including face consciousness, perceived material wealth, goal setting, motivation orientation, cultural value, and the wealth of one’s home nation. However, less research has been conducted on the effects of finances on happiness. The research that does exist focuses on a specific range of people: fully grown adults. No significant psychological research has been done specifically investigating the effects of money on the happiness of college students. This study was designed with that research gap in mind, and measured positive emotions, negative emotions, and life satisfaction in a sample of college students, along with questions regarding their financial satisfaction. Analyses focused on correlations between the three indicators of happiness and different aspects of financial satisfaction. Strong correlations were found for several aspects of financial satisfaction and overall life satisfaction, demonstrating that money is indeed an influence on the happiness of college students.