The participants were willing to pay more for a pleasant experience than simply avoiding an unpleasant time. The subjects most valued an hour of love (about 120USD) than happiness and sadness.
To avoid an hour of disgust, which ranked in last place, the respondents said they would pay an average of 55USD.
The effect of the valuation of emotions depends on a person’s culture. The British would pay the most for happiness, joy and peace, while the Japanese are willing to pay more for avoiding grief, shame, and frustration.
Scientists believe that avoiding a negative experience is more important for a person’s well-being than having a positive experience.
They share the attitudes of the Japanese people, who focus primarily on social expectations, and not on their own personal welfare.
Lau, H., White, M., and Schnall, S. (2012). Quantifying the Value of Emotions Using a Willingness to Pay Approach. Journal of Happiness Studies , Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 1543–1561