Added: Laycie Hatchell - Date: 29.11.2021 09:22 - Views: 21535 - Clicks: 908
Half of the people were asked to commit to spending that money on themselves, and half were asked to spend it on someone they knew. The researchers wanted to see whether simply pledging to being generous was enough to make people happier. They then performed functional MRI scans to measure activity in three regions of the brain associated with social behavior, generosity, happiness and decision-making.
Their choices—and their brain activity—seemed to depend on how they had pledged to spend the money earlier. Those who had agreed to spend money on other people tended to make more generous decisions throughout the experiment, compared to those who had agreed to spend on themselves. They also had more interaction between the parts of the brain associated with altruism and happiness, and they reported higher levels of happiness after the experiment was over. Planning to give away just a little bit of money had the same effects on happiness as giving away a lot.
But other research suggests that making generosity a regular habit may influence long-term wellbeing and happiness, the study authors say.
Studies have shown that older people who are generous tend to have better healthsays Tobler, and other research has indicated that spending money on others can be as effective at lowering blood pressure as medication or exercise. The researchers wonder, however, whether the feel-good effect of generosity could be dampened by deliberate attempts to take advantage of it—in other words, by expecting personal gains from performing selfless acts.
Still, the new study suggests that making a pledge to do generous things could be a useful way to reinforce altruistic behavior and even make people happier, says Tobler. Next time you think that the best way to make yourself feel better is to buy yourself a treat, consider that the opposite is likely true. at letters time. By Amanda MacMillan. Get our Health Newsletter.
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The Psychology Behind Gift-Giving and Generosity