According to Richard Layard, it is not the case that in general, those with more money are happier than those with less money. It is not generally true because when societies are compared with other societies, it has been found that there is little reported difference in happiness if one society is more wealthy than the other. One reason for this is social comparison: individuals respond with happiness to their well-being (or wealthiness) relative to the well-being of their peers. So, within a community, the wealthy may report more happiness than the poor, but even if the poor of this community would be the wealthy in another community, the poor would report similar happiness levels to poor in another, generally less wealthy, community. Another reason for this is the psychological phenomenon of adaptation: individuals become accustomed to their situations and so any situation devoid of improvement will not bring happiness to the individual. In my family, my mother often associates money with happiness and considers our family to have been more well off when we could afford to travel frequently and purchase new cars and other amenities. Within my friends, money doesn’t seem to play much of a role in their lives unless they are substantially below average income (I only have one friend who is in such a situation). If I were to win the lottery, I would buy weekly flights to Boston for the next four years and I would pay all of my college loans off immediately (as well as my parents’ portion). I don’t believe I would be paying off the loans to provide myself with happiness, but rather rid myself (and my parents) of unpleasantness and financial pressure once I got out of college. And although I wouldn’t use every flight, the flights to Boston would allow me to remain very connected and dependent with my girlfriend who goes to college in Cambridge. This would provide me with some of what I feel like I’ve been lacking here at UNC which Maslow characterizes as needs: friendship, family, and sexual intimacy. I believe that the security of this level of the pyramid would also bring me happiness by allowing me to better reach self-actualization and focus on my studies and academic explorations more.