Sample Research Paper on Can’t Buy Me Love (or Friendship): Social Consequences of Financially Contingent Self-Worth

This article explains that money cannot improve an individual's relationship. When
individuals in a relationship focus on money, they are likely to spend less effort and time in other
aspects that help make relationships work—people who focus on money to make relationships
work neglect other efforts to maintain their relationship. Focusing more on money leads to
adverse social outcomes (Ward, Park, Naragon-Gainey, Whillans & Jung, 2020). When people
base their happiness on money, their self-esteem is affected hence gaining financially contingent
self-worth. This additionally pressures individuals to base their success on financial gains.
Basing an individual's success on the financial gain may come at the expense of spending time
with loved ones.
This research uses four cross-sectional studies for 2,439 individuals and a daily study of
246 individuals to study this subject. The study findings indicate that using financial success as a
measurement of an individual's self-worth results in loneliness feelings. It also creates a social
disconnection between an individual and the people close to them. The article further explains
that basing an individual’s self-worth on financial success limits an individual's capacity for self-
determination and reduces the time an individual spends with family and loved ones.
The dependent variable in the study is the social outcomes related to focusing on
financial gain. The study used a longitudinal research design that included repeated observations
of the identified study subjects. The study findings are in line with the hypothesis of the
researcher in that the findings indicate that when an individual relies on financial success for
their self-worth, they are more likely to get more pressured in achieving financial success to the

extent of neglecting their social connections (Ward, Park, Naragon-Gainey, Whillans & Jung,
2020). This leads to less time spent with friends and family; however, the individuals gain
financial success.

Valuing money over family and friends leads to misery, study says
The press article offers similar sentiments on the consequences of giving more value to
money over family and friends. The article explains that, even though money is good, it has its
limitations. The article offers similar sentiments like those of the in the research article. It
borrows some information from the research article “When people base their self-worth on
financial success, they experience feelings of pressure and a lack of autonomy, which are
associated with negative social outcomes” (Frishberg, 2020).
When individuals focus more on improving their financial condition, their social and
mental well-being is adversely affected. Creating a balance between making money and
maintaining the right social networks is an important life concept that should not be overlooked.
The social isolation caused by the desire to look for more money leads to mental issues such as
depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders (Frishberg, 2020). Social networks are essential
for all humans; they provide a sense of security that also influences human's mental health and
The research findings are well explained in the popular press article. The article provides
context and a clear explanation that enables the reader to get the information right. It empathizes
on the points entailed in the study findings. The article begins by providing a brief summary of
the key findings. From the popular press article findings, there is a clear implication of a causal

relationship between the variables that were studied in this research. The study offers a clear
relationship between valuing money and unhappy life.
The study design used repeated observations to identify the influence money had on an
individual’s social life. The study variables were in line with the study design used. They helped
in analyzing the influence money had on an individual’s happiness and social life. The language
used in the study creates a clear relation between the variables this making the study findings
clear to understand. Self-worth based on financial success also puts a lot of pressure on
individuals, making them overwork to earn more money. This leads to a miserable life that
revolves around work. There is boredom doing the same thing over time with little or no break.
This is what happens to individuals whose self-worth is based on financial success. Their lives
become very dull, despite the financial gain they achieve. There is a great danger of popular
press articles misrepresenting study findings. The press articles miss crucial key points to
particular research and base their findings on non-key points. This diverts the study findings to
different topics that may not be crucial to the research.


Ward, D. E., Park, L. E., Naragon-Gainey, K., Whillans, A. V., & Jung, H. Y. (2020). Can’t
Buy Me Love (or Friendship): Social Consequences of Financially Contingent Self-
Worth. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 014616722091087.

Frishberg, H. (2020, April 10). Valuing money over family and friends leads to misery, study
says. New York Post.