Episode 92: Generosity, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Debbie Barnett, tells the story of her depression and how going to a psychiatrist turned out to be a terrifying experience . Sunday, September 16, 2018
Psychology Today – Posted May 08, 2018
Generosity Pays Dividends in Happiness: Study show even slightly generous people are happier than self-centered people.
Would you be surprised to learn that people who are generous are happier than those who aren’t? Well according to researchers at the University of Zurich, generosity appears to connect to living a happier life.
Here’s how the research went: 50 volunteers were divided into two groups and were told they would be given a modest amount of money. One group was told to spend the money on themselves and the other group was asked to give a gift of some money to someone they knew.
As each person in both groups were deciding how to spend the money the researchers measured the brain activity of the person in three areas of the brain: one area where prosocial behavior and generosity are processed; another area (in the ventral striatum), which is related to happiness; and (in the orbitofrontal cortex), where cost/benefits are evaluated in the decision-making processes. After the measurements were made the subjects were asked to rate their happiness before and after the experiment.
The results showed that those people who were generous in their gifting reported being happier than before the experiment began. Also, they reported greater happiness than the control group who intended to spend the money on themselves.
As reported in Science News, the lead researcher, Philippe Tobler said, “You don’t need to become a self-sacrificing martyr to feel happier. Just being a little more generous will suffice.”
The ground’s generosity takes in our compost and grows beauty! Try to be more like the ground. -Rumi