Space & Innovation

Why We Feel A 'Warm Glow' When Donating To Charity

It seems like people are more charitable during the holidays, but are they really? What are the psychological benefits of giving to charity?

In 2014, individual Americans gave more than $258 billion to charities - more than twice the amount bequeathed by corporations and foundations combined. Clearly, Americans are a giving people. But why? Well, it makes us feel good, for one thing.

Thanks to advances in brain scanning technology, scientists actually have data to back this up. Recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found the orbitofrontal, subgenual and lateral orbitofrontal areas of the brain light up when people are being charitable. These regions are associated with positive sensations of social attachment and individual agency. In laymen's terms, it's that warm glow you get when giving to others. Trace Dominguez employs his own lateral orbitofrontal assets to bring you the details - for free! - in today's DNews report.

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Read More:

National Center For Charitable Statistics: Charitable Giving in America: Some Facts and Figures

The New York Times: Seeking the Why of Giving

The University of Texas at Austin: The science of generosity