Scientists Discover Neuronal Link Between Generosity and Happiness

Generosity causes Happiness


Neuroscientists discover neuronal link between generosity and happiness

There have been reports that people who are generous in giving time (e.g. volunteering) or giving money to others or any random acts of loving kindness or other forms of generosity report greater happiness.

Until recently, it was unclear scientifically why generous people are happier. A new published scientific study finds that people who pledge to practice generosity show greater increases in self-reported happiness—this connection is positively correlated on a brain neuronal level with changes in key brain activity.

Furthermore, people who practice generosity report greater happiness. This connection is positively correlated on a neuronal level with brain activity. The connection between generosity and happiness corresponded with brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) findings.

The PhD scientists found that generous people have significantly increased brain activity in the Temporo-Parietal Junction (TPJ) even when making generous decisions. The TPJ is generally associated with social cognition and empathy.

In addition, the neuroscientists discovered increased activity flow between the TPJ and a part of the brain related to reward and happiness: the Ventral Striatum with participants who had committed to generosity.

What is really awesome is the increased neuronal activity of the Striatum was directly and positively correlated to increases in happiness. Yay : )

These results demonstrate “Top-Down” activation of Ventral Striatum activity and plays a fundamental role in linking generosity with happiness. We already know that the ventral striatum is activated when we do–or even just anticipate doing–something we know will be pleasurable; and the increase release of feel good neurotransmitters.

This study advances the fields of neuroscience and psychology by providing a direct scientific link between generosity and happiness. Moreover, generous behavior has been reported to increase happiness by the giver and the receiver…and thereby motivates repeated acts of generosity with happiness as the reward. Stimulus Response learning

The Pleasure Principle: Generosity causes Happiness

Key Point: if you are feeling depressed or feeling some other “Debbie downer” mood, be generous to others. You will feel happier when you are generous. Give from your heart ! Give with Love!

It is a know fact, that miserly and selfish people are depressed and angry and stressed out. *Even Dr. Seuss knew the truth in the “Grinch who stole Christmas”.




Shawna Freshwater, PhD

Shawna Freshwater, PhD

Hi, I am Dr. Shawna Freshwater, a PhD licensed Clinical Psychologist, Neuropsychologist, and Holistic Practitioner. ** I provide Psychotherapy, Coaching, Healing, Diagnostic testing & Mental Health Check-ups. ** I meet the needs of my patients and clients that are confidential and convenient to their schedule. ** I offer Remote / Online secure interactive video conferencing to USA residents and International clients. ** I also provide Concierge services at your home, office, or private location of your choice if you reside in South Florida Major Cities. ***Please see my website for more information about my credentials and areas of expertise. Thank you. Dr. Freshwater

Leave a Comment