Washington, Feb uary 22: Spending money on someone else rather than for personal benefit makes people feel good both rich and poor nations, according to a new research.
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, said lead author Lara Aknin, PhD, of Simon Fraser University in Canada.
The findings provide the first empirical evidence that "the warm glow" of spending on someone else rather than on oneself may be a widespread component of human psychology, said the researchers.
Researchers found a positive relationship between personal well-being and spending on others in 120 of 136 countries covered in the 2006-2008 Gallup World Poll.
The survey comprised 234,917 individuals, half of whom were male, with an average age of 38. The link between well-being and spending on others was significant in every region of the world, and it was not affected by other factors among those surveyed, such as income, social support, perceived freedom and perceived national corruption, the study said.
The results were similar in several experiments the researchers themselves conducted with participants in wealthy and poor countries.
The researchers obtained the same results when they conducted an online survey of 101 adults in India.
Some respondents were asked to recall recently spending money on themselves or someone else, while others were tested for their happiness level without recalling past spending. Those who recalled spending on someone else said they had a greater feeling of well-being than those who remembered spending on themselves or those who weren't asked about spending.
"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.
The study was published online in APA's Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. (ANI)