Research from the University of Cambridge confirmed what many thought they knew, life satisfaction increases with spending - but only if used in line with personality-type. Quartz staffer Olivia Goldhill reports on this research which examines over 76,800 transactions from 625 participants over a period of six months, with each purchase sorted into 59 spending categories, and then rated according to how strongly it correlates with one of the big five personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism.)
They found that participants that made purchases more closely matched with their personalities had higher satisfaction. They also used another test to determine if the increased happiness could be derived from greater self-knowledge, or another factor:
The authors caution that their data shouldn’t be taken as a how-to guide on spending—accountant fees and home insurance may be rated as suited to introverted people, but spending a great deal on such products is unlikely to make anyone happy.