Giving, or Receiving?


Is giving better for us than receiving? New research published by the APA is stating; YES.

Dr Lara Aknin of Simon Fraser University in Canada states that, “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”. These findings imply that the “warm glow” we feel when we spend money or time on another person is a part of human nature/psychology – and this study shows the first empirical evidence for this.

In this study, researchers found a positive correlation between personal well being and spending on others, and this was seen across a wide number of countries around the world. There were also no other found factors that would effect the results, such as income and social support.

Several studies have been conducted in this field, and similar results have been obtained in rich and poor countries. In on such study, from Canada and Uganda, participants who recalled spending money on another person reported feeling happier than those who remembered spending money on themselves.

The same results have also been found in India, with participants again reporting feeling happier following spending money on another person, than those who had spent money on themselves.

“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.


Written by: Philippa Berry.

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Published: 26th February 2013

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