Why Do We Donate To Charity? Because It Feels Good!

Even poor people donate money to charity. Why? According to a new study by University of Oregon economics professor William Harbaugh and psychology professor Ulrich Mayr, they do it because it feels good.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the study, which scanned the brains of volunteers as they donated money to a food bank, showed that the pleasure centers of the brain were activated by the act of giving. Even more interesting, not all people responded in the same way. The study showed that people whose brain reacted more to being given money were less willing to make donations.

“The brain is directly telling us, ‘I like the food bank more than I like me,’ or the other way around and can tell you who’s going to give,” said Colin Camerer, economics professor at the California Institute of Technology. “That’s pretty cool.”

Does giving to charity make you feel good? Is it just the tax deduction part that makes you smile? Do you even give to charity? Is there a place for it in your budget? —MEGHANN MARCO

Donating to charity is good for the brain, according to study [Chicago Tribune via Freakonomics]

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