We feel better when we give than when we receive - this is the conclusion of a study published by APA in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Researchers analyzed data from 136 countries, collected during the 2006-2008 Gallup World Poll. The data was collected from 234,917 people, half male, and half female. The average age of the subjects was 38.
Titled "Prosocial Spending and Well-Being: Cross-Cultural Evidence for a Psychological Universal", the final report has very some interesting conclusions.
"Our findings suggest that the rewards we feel when we help others may be deeply rooted in human nature, surfacing in diverse cultural and economic contexts," the researchers wrote in the introduction to the report, according to The Epoch Times.
The Warm Glow
In several experiments, the results were the same - people around the world enjoy giving, it makes them happy. The researchers called the feeling a "warm glow."
Warren Buffett, the renowned American billionaire, pledged in 2010 that during his lifetime he would spend more than 99 percent of his wealth on philanthropy.
He has claimed he wants to keep only what he needs and give the rest to society.
Researchers examined what Warren Buffett said and wondered, "Does spending money on others make even people in relatively poor areas of the world happy?"
They were then asked when they felt happier.
The report concluded, "Participants in Canada and Uganda reported higher levels of happiness when they spent money on others than when they spent money on themselves."
In another example, researchers involved participants from Canada and South Africa. Participants bought a gift for themselves and bought the exact same gift for someone else, but without that person's knowledge. No one outside the experiment knew of the anonymous generous act.
It turns out that doing something for someone else, rather than for oneself, gives people higher levels of positive emotions, according to the study.