Interested in using BtP as an educational tool in your classroom?

Beyond the Purchase allows students to take a variety of peer-reviewed surveys focusing on personality, values, spending habits, and well-being. After students complete any survey, BtP provides detailed background information on these scales as well as personalized feedback. Once a survey is completed, students can view their results as compared to others that have taken the survey. These features make BtP a practical and enjoyable tool when teaching about psychology, happiness, or statistics.

To help you use BtP in your classroom, we’ve created a few handouts detailing how to use BtP as well as providing background information for some of our most popular surveys! All handouts have been provided in PDF format, and can easily be downloaded and handed out to your students, or uploaded to your class’s online forum. For example:

Are you lecturing on the Big Five personality traits? Have your students first take our brief measure of the Big Five personality dimensions (this PDF helps your students take our Big Five quiz: Learning about the Big Five personality traits using Beyond the Purchase). Having students complete a brief measure of the Big Five is an excellent introduction to trait theory. After they take the Big Five, you can download this PowerPoint (Teaching Trait Theory with a Big Five Quiz) which contains a brief description of the Big Five personality traits and helps students learn their own personality profile using Beyond the Purchase. Finally, here are some of our favorite discussion questions (Big Five classroom activities) which will reinforce what students should be learning about trait theory.

Are you lecturing on happiness or well-being? Introduce your students to positive psychology using the various measures provided here on Beyond the Purchase. First, this PDF handout gives a brief background of positive psychology and instructions on how to take some of our most popular surveys on happiness (this PDF helps your students take our happiness quizzes: Learning about happiness using Beyond the Purchase). Next, this brief PowerPoint presentation (Teaching Happiness using the Satisfaction with Life Scale) provides information on different types of well-being and notes some of the benefits of happiness. On our website students can learn about their implicit happiness as well as how often they use positive or negative word in their Facebook status updates so they can learn about alternative happiness assessments. We've also included some interesting discussion questions to help facilitate the lecture.

Are you lecturing on the measures of central tendency? We have found that teaching students how to compute the mean and median is more enjoyable (for everyone) when the example is based on psychological content. We suggest you have your students first take our Big Five personality quiz (this PDF helps your students take our Big Five quiz: Learning about the Big Five personality traits using Beyond the Purchase). After they take the quiz, you can download this PowerPoint (Teaching Central Tendency with Big Five Personality Traits) which contains slides that introduce measures of central tendency using student's scores on the Big Five. These slides can be added directly to your lecture, providing an example of computing the mean and median extraversion score at a generic university.

Media & Mentions

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• Desert News National, July 19, 2014. "What would Jesus buy?" (Read)
• Iowa Public Radio, July 9, 2014. "Money, Canoes or Oral Hygiene: Finding the Key to Happiness" (Read)
•, June 20, 2014. "Happiness Stems From Purchasing Life Experiences—Not Material Items" (Read)
• Business Insider Australia, February 17, 2014. "Find Out Why That Upmarket Suburb You Aspire To Will Make You Poorer" (Read)
•, February 14, 2014. "Living in a nice area makes you more materialistic" (Read)
•, February 6, 2014. "5 Apps That Make You Happy" (Read)
•, September 3, 2013. "Here's How Paying Off Debt Improves Your Happiness" (Read)
• The Sacramento Bee, June 9, 2013. "Personal Finance: How money buys happiness. Can money truly buy us happiness?" (Read)
•, February 21, 2013. " Reports the Top 5 Reasons Spending Less Will Make you Happier"(Read)
• Fox Business, January 17, 2013. "When You Can (and Can't) Buy Happiness"(Read)
• The Sacramento Bee, January 4, 2013. " Finds that Perception of Time Affects Financial Behavior."(Read)
• The New York Times, April 4, 2012. "I Buy, Therefore I Am (Unless I Return It)."(Read)
• The MinnPost, February 7, 2012. "Why 'Experience' Shoppers are Happier"(Read)
• Mail Online, January 27, 2012. "Rise of the 'Experience' Shopper: Happiness is What You Do, Not What You Buy"(Read)
• Science Daily, January 26, 2012. "Are You a Happy Shopper? Research Website Help You Find Out"(Read)
• Psych Central, January 27, 2012. "Buying New Experiences, Not Things, Tied to Happiness"(Read)

Affiliated Websites

The Personality and Well-being lab
• Psychology department San Francisco State University
Policy Interactive
Psychology Textbooks

Featured Studies
Importance of Happiness Survey:
How much will you sacrifice for more happiness?
36 questions
The Big Five personality test:
How do you score on the five fundamental dimensions of personality?
29 questions
A 2-week Gratitude Intervention:
Can recalling grateful events increase your happiness? Note: only people who register with FB can take this study
About 5 minutes nightly for two weeks
contact: webmaster at beyondthepurchase dot org