Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

Donating money – as good as sex

A very small study found that charity activated pleasure centers in the brain. If this study is truly replicable and generalizable to a larger population then three things on the surface come to my mind:

1) Charities have a done a terrible job at recruiting people given that it feels great
2) It would be interesting to see the study substitute giving time for giving money
3) This holds promise for tapping into a human beings “pure altruism”.

If the same neurological areas are activated for doing good as for sex, pleasure and food, then you might think it could be easy to get more participation in charity events and more donations. Perhaps there is a need for better or sexier marketing and for other tactics. In the end there is not much new here, for those heavily involved in charity work and donating, you know it feels great and fulfilling, but this research can help create interesting advertisements or marketing campaigns (e.g. we could make the following t-shirts – Feel Sexy: Give Back) .  Any thoughts on the t-shirts? Full Story:

“CHICAGO (Reuters) – Knowing your money is going to a good cause can activate some of the same pleasure centers in your brain as food and sex, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

People who participated in a study got a charge knowing that their money went to a charity — even when the contribution was mandatory, like a tax. They felt even better when they voluntarily made a donation, researchers found.

“What is interesting is that these pleasure areas are for really basic needs, like food, sex, sweets, shelter and social connection,” Ulrich said in a telephone interview. “It’s the area that tells the brain what is good for us.”


Written by Aman

June 15, 2007 at 6:35 am

Posted in Global Health

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