People unhappy at disparities in earnings

The wide gap between the richest and poorest people in society is serving to make individuals unhappy, new research has shown. Due to be published in the Association for Psychological Science journal Psychological Science, the study revealed people have become happier over the last 40 years as more equality has emerged.

Carried out by University of Virginia Psychologist Shigehiro Oishi - in association with her colleague from the institution Selin Keseber and Ed Diener of the University of Illinois - the investigation showed the findings are compatible with around 60 per cent of Americans.

Mr Oishi said: "Income disparity has grown a lot in the US, especially since the 1980s. With that, we've seen a marked drop in life satisfaction and happiness."

The researchers claimed such a gap is correlated with feelings that other people can be less fair and trust-worthy, leading to a reduced sense of general wellbeing.

Chartered Member and Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr Carol Valinejad said: "Satisfaction with work correlates very well with overall life satisfaction and wellbeing. Research has shown that satisfaction can be found in satisfactory working conditions and positive processes in the work place and not just in the financial reward in having a job.

"These include job variety, building on strengths, team building, using ones creativity, flexible working, open climate and empowerment and flow.

"It would be interesting to know whether the individuals that were either less satisfied with their jobs or unemployed were more prone to having more negative perceptions about the wide gap between the rich and the poor in society." 

Earlier in the month, Terri Bodell, Deputy Chairman of the National Association of Counsellors, Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists, observed the two primary factors for stress are money and work.