Scientific proof that it’s better to give than receive
The ancient adage, “It is better to give than receive,” can apparently be proved scientifically.
New research suggests that choosing to spend money on others rather than spending it on yourself, provides those feel-good moments we all long for.
The results of a study published in February by the American Psychological Association found that people experience a “warm glow” when they put the needs of others before their own.
“Our findings suggest that the psychological reward experienced from helping others may be deeply ingrained in human nature, emerging in diverse cultural and economic contexts,” said lead author Lara Aknin, of Simon Fraser University in Canada, in a news release.
Surveying nearly 235,000 people in 136 countries, researchers found a “positive relationship between personal well-being and spending on others.” It didn’t matter whether the people surveyed were rich or poor.
People were asked to rate their feelings of happiness after buying something for themselves and again after buying something for someone else. A majority of respondents said they felt more joy after spending cash on others.
“People who remembered spending money on someone else felt happier than those who recalled spending money on themselves,” the study reported.
“From an evolutionary perspective, the emotional benefits that people experience when they help others acts to encourage generous behavior beneficial to long-term human survival,” said Aknin.
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