Facebook Sharing As Rewarding As Sex and Food, Study Finds
A new Harvard study says that the brain finds the most immediate reward in sex, food, and Facebook sharing. Yes, we are a society of self disclosure that loves nothing more than posting on Facebook and waiting for the likes and comments afterwards.
The study, published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, found that the self disclosure provided by Facebook provides a spike in the release of dopamine in the brain based on the anticipation of reward.
CBS Washington reports:
The study, which hints at Facebook’s role in the study but never directly cites the social-media giant, discovered “that humans so willingly self-disclose because doing so represents an event with intrinsic value, in the same way as with primary rewards such as food and sex.”
We love for “our friends” to know everything about us, but the only problem is most of our friends are people we wouldn’t say hello to if we saw them at the coffee shop. This dopamine and immediate reward release seems to override what should be an innate need to keep some parts of life to ourselves.
Again, CBS Washington reports:
Diana Tamir and Jason Mitchell of Harvard’s Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab studied how people would react when given the choice between a small cash reward for answering factual questions and a lesser reward for giving their own views and opinions on a subject. According to the study, a majority of the participants decided they’d rather talk about themselves.
More than anything else we want people to listen to us--to our opinions, our thoughts, and our needs. But at what cost? What you put out into the world of Facebook you simply can't take back.
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images