Researchers have found that giving money to others for their welfare and to charities make people happy whether they are living in rich countries or in poor countries.
This research has been published online in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Researchers in this study surveyed 234,917 people of different income levels and social structures from 136 countries around the world and they found that the respondents experienced feelings of well-being after giving money to others as compared to buying something for them. Researchers found that giving money to others for their welfare is more memorable than spending money on themselves and this memory could become the reason for the experience of well-being as the researchers found that the respondents were more able to recall the times, when they purchased something for others as compared to the times, when they purchased something for them.
“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,” Lara Aknin, PhD, of Simon Fraser University in Canada and lead author, said in a statement.
This finding shows that it is the nature of human beings and that is why they feel better after giving others.
“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,” Aknin said.
Aknin, Lara B.; Barrington-Leigh, Christopher P.; Dunn, Elizabeth W.; Helliwell, John F.; Burns, Justine; Biswas-Diener, Robert; Kemeza, Imelda; Nyende, Paul; Ashton-James, Claire E.; Norton, Michael I., (2013). Prosocial Spending and Well-Being: Cross-Cultural Evidence for a Psychological Universal. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, doi: 10.1037/a0031578