Does social connection turn good deeds into good feelings? On the value of putting the 'social' in prosocial spending
by Lara B. Aknin; Elizabeth W. Dunn; Gillian M. Sandstrom; Michael I. Norton
International Journal of Happiness and Development (IJHD), Vol. 1, No. 2, 2013

Abstract: When are the emotional benefits of generous behaviour most likely to emerge? In three studies, we demonstrate that the hedonic benefits of generous spending are most likely when spending promotes positive social connection. Study 1 shows that people feel happier after giving more to charity, but only when they give to someone connected with the cause. Studies 2 and 3 show that the emotional rewards associated with giving to friends or acquaintances are greatest in situations that facilitate social connection. Thus, social connection may be important for turning good deeds into good feelings, and maximising connectedness between givers and recipients may enhance the emotional payoff of charitable initiatives.

Online publication date: Sat, 19-Jul-2014

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