Utilitarianism is defined as follows:
Utilitarianism is a theory in normative ethics holding that the best moral action is the one that maximizes utility. Utility is defined in various ways, but is usually related to the well-being of sentient entities. Originally, Jeremy Bentham, the founder of Utilitarianism, defined utility as the aggregate pleasure after deducting suffering of all involved in any action. John Stuart Mill expanded this concept of utility to include not only the quantity, but quality of pleasure, while focusing on rules, instead of individual moral actions. Others have rejected that pleasure has positive value and have advocated negative utilitarianism, which defines utility only in terms of suffering. As opposed to this hedonistic view, some define utility with relation to preference satisfaction whereas others believe that a range of values can be included in its definition.
So we see that happiness is very important in utilitarianism, but Esterlin Paradox states that:
The Easterlin paradox is a key concept in happiness economics. It is named for the economist and USC professor Richard Easterlin, who discussed the factors contributing to happiness in a 1974 book chapter. Easterlin argued that while within a given country people with higher incomes were more likely to report being happy, this would not hold at a national level, creating an apparent paradox.
Also, from Tibor Scitovsky Joyless Economy, we know that:
Tibor Scitovsky’s first four chapters present what remains one of the most artful and accessible summaries of what psychologists know about human motivation. Economists will learn that the concept of utility in economic models corresponds to the psychologist’s notion of comfort; and they will see substantial evidence against the idea that people are comfort maximizers. This book remains a major critique of modern and especially economic values Based on “Happiness Paradox”, in this essay, the author advised that we should spend our money on things that we will not adapt to (“stimulation good” or “relational good” , such a beautiful scenery or meeting good friends – things that can continually fascinate us and provide a degree of fulfillment) rather than wasting our time and money buying things which we get adapted to (“comfort good”, such as a newer and fancier-looking sofa, etc. – the pleasure of which is temporary and fades with time).
Did these results disprove utilitarianism based on happiness?