Commuting, Happiness, and the Size of Your House

New studies show that long commutes are significantly detrimental to people's happiness. So why choose the bigger house outside of town over the smaller house? Jonah Lehrer talks about the "weighting mistake" theory.
April 14, 2010, 1pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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Lehrer quotes psychologist Ap Dijksterhuis of Radboud University in the Netherlands, who came up with the weighting mistake idea:

"Consider two housing options: a three bedroom apartment that is located in the middle of a city, with a ten minute commute time, or a five bedroom McMansion on the urban outskirts, with a forty-five minute commute. "People will think about this trade-off for a long time," Dijksterhuis says. "And most them will eventually choose the large house. After all, a third bathroom or extra bedroom is very important for when grandma and grandpa come over for Christmas, whereas driving two hours each day is really not that bad." What's interesting, Dijksterhuis says, is that the more time people spend deliberating, the more important that extra space becomes."

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Published on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 in ScienceBlogs
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