Friday, November 26, 2004
stat of the day
UW's finest, Tonya B. Show, recently posted some excerpts from a Psychology Today article that attempted to put a monetary value on various personal-life-states-of-affairs. For one thing, the article said that marriage brings an increase in psychological well-being that is the equivalent of the bump you would get from a six-figure increase in salary. For another, the article valued the psychological effect of having frequent sex as part of one's life at $55,000. Intrigued, I went and read this article while I was at Borders. As it turns out, the article does not just put the $55K pricetag on frequent sex, but also decomposes this $55K into different components. The largest share of the $55K benefit is from "touch," but it estimates the value of the "sweat" part of frequent sex at ~$15K and the "orgasm" part of frequent sex at ~$7K. In other words, Psychology Today reports that, when expressed in monetary terms, the psychological benefits of sweaty, orgasm-free sex are more than twice as large as those of sweatless, orgasmaplenty sex. No details on the precise formula used to compute this financial decomposition are provided, but it is Psychology Today, after all, so we can be confident that it is top-drawer science.