The scale you completed was a Positional vs. Absolute Good Scale first used by Sara J. Solnick & David Hemenway (1998).

The scale is a measure of how much you value things based on comparison- a function of your position in relation to others.

•Relative position: a value of having more than others
•Absolute position: a value of simply having something, concerning only the absolute amount.

The graph below shows your values on these scales with your score (in green) compared to those of the average man (in brown) and the average woman (in orange) visitor to this website.

A score of 0.5 would indicate that you preferred relative position 50% of the time in the previous scale.

Scores higher than 0.5 indicate your preferences are more relative
Scores lower than 0.5 indicate your preferences are more absolute.

We are interested in how these values relate to political preferences. For more information about your political affiliation and values, read this blog from our sister website,

Now, about consumption:

One of the reasons experiential purchases make people happier than material purchases is because experiential purchases are less subject to positional concern. For example, a vacation is good for what it is, often regardless of the vacation your neighbor went on. Material possessions, however, are easy to compare. There is bound to be somebody with a better version of what you have, so the happiness decreases and regret increases.

Do you have ideas on improving this study? Or did you encounter any difficulties in answering the questions? Click here to send a message to the creators of this study.

Learn more about your happiness and spending habits!

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