The Holidays are a time for giving and sharing, and most people are doing it because of the pleasure that they feel which is popularly known as the “helper’s high” phenomenon. However, it is interesting to note that science does not have a concrete explanation why the phenomenon happens. “Helper’s high” has been described and observed since the ancient times, and there has been a popular proverb regarding the phenomenon, which states that “giving is better than receiving.” Despite the advancement in technology, only a few brave souls tried to navigate the mind and find out why the phenomenon known as “helper’s high” happens. Learn more about Jorge Moll at Google Scholar.
A neuroscientist from Brazil named Jorge Moll teamed up with several neuroscientists around the world. Their goal is to find out the reason why the “helper’s high” phenomenon happens, and for them to study the phenomenon, they need to get volunteers who are willing to be studied. The research happened in 2006, and as Jorge Moll speaks with the volunteers, to explain to them in detailed what is going to happen. He requested that the volunteers should think of a scenario that can happen in reality – the volunteers would have to picture them in a situation wherein they would be generous, and another one wherein they would be selfish. The volunteers had to go inside an empty room for them to concentrate, and as they were thinking about the scenario, equipment near them measures the activity of the brain. Read more about Jorge Moll at crunchbase.com.
Jorge Moll and his team observed the volunteers agree to be studied upon, and after the experiment, they were surprised with the result which came up on screen. It seems like the volunteers’ brain had so much activity when they imagined a scenario of generosity, and nothing happened when they envisioned a scenario of selfishness. This led Jorge Moll and his team to conclude that giving excites a particular part of the brain which causes it to release hormones that are described as more pleasurable than having sex or eating something delicious. Jorge Moll recorded the results of the experiment and stated that there would be follow up studies about their discovery.