Selfish People Support Charities?
Yes, it's nice to help the less fortunate, but the reason you do it is not out of guilt or pity, but because it gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling.
According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Standford researchers found that people are more likely to give when they feel hope about putting smiles on suffering faces.
For the study, researchers imaged the brains of 22 young adults and gave them $15 dollars to either donate to an image of a silhouette identified as an orphan and refugee in the Darfur region of Sudan, or a head shot of a young African child. Researchers found that the participants were far more likely to give if they saw a face rather than a blank silhouette.
Apparently the activity in their nucleus accumbens -- the reward area in the brain -- spiked when participants gave money to actual photos of the African child compared to the silhouette-based image.
“We’re finding that the reason people give to identifiable victims is because of the emotional impact it has— and specifically, the more positive emotion, the more impact,” says Standford grad student Alexander Genevsky, who led the study.
Do you feel good when you give to the poor?