Praise = money?

April 23, 2008

Why are we nice to others? One answer provided by social psychologists is because it pays off. A social psychological theory stated that we do something nice to others for a good reputation or social approval just like we work for salary.

Consistent with this idea, a research team led by Norihiro Sadato, a professor, at the Japanese National Institute for Physiological Sciences, NIPS (SEIRIKEN), and Keise Izuma, a graduate student of the Graduate University for Advanced Studies, in Okazaki, Japan, now have neural evidence that perceiving one's good reputation formed by others activates the striatum, the brain's reward system, in a similar manner to monetary reward.

The team reports their findings on April 24 in Neuron (Cell Press).

The research group conducted functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments on 19 people with monetary and social rewards. The acquisition of one's good reputation robustly activated reward-related brain areas, notably the striatum, and these overlapped with the areas activated by monetary rewards. These results strongly suggest that social reward is processed in the striatum like monetary reward.

Considering a pivotal role played by a good reputation in social interactions, this study provides an important first step toward neural explanation for our everyday social behaviors.

Source: National Institute for Physiological Sciences

Explore further: Capitalising on consumers' sweet spot has dangerous implications for public health

Related Stories

Capitalising on consumers' sweet spot has dangerous implications for public health

January 9, 2018
Research conducted by public health experts at Wits University and their associates worldwide has explored how multinational global corporations that sell sugar sweetened beverages and fast foods undermine health, and have ...

Are you an avid Facebook user? It's all about your nucleus accumbens

August 29, 2013
A person's intensity of Facebook use can be predicted by activity in a reward-related area of the brain, according to a new study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Matchmaking this Valentine's Day: How it can bring you the most happiness

February 10, 2014
With Valentine's Day around the corner, you may be thinking of pairing up two friends for a date. If you follow your instinct to play Cupid, it'll pay off in happiness – not necessarily for the new couple, but definitely ...

Georgia Tech releases cyber threats forecast for 2012

October 11, 2011
The year ahead will feature new and increasingly sophisticated means to capture and exploit user data, as well as escalating battles over the control of online information that threatens to compromise content and erode public ...

Recommended for you

Young children use physics, not previous rewards, to learn about tools

February 23, 2018
Children as young as seven apply basic laws of physics to problem-solving, rather than learning from what has previously been rewarded, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge.

The 'loudness' of our thoughts affects how we judge external sounds

February 23, 2018
The "loudness" of our thoughts—or how we imagine saying something—influences how we judge the loudness of real, external sounds, a team of researchers from NYU Shanghai and NYU has found.

Study: Tinder loving cheaters—dating app facilitates infidelity

February 23, 2018
The popular dating app Tinder is all about helping people form new relationships. But for many college-aged people, it's also helping those in relationships cheat on their romantic partners.

Looking for the origins of schizophrenia

February 23, 2018
Schizophrenia may be related to neurodevelopmental changes, including brain's inability to generate an appropriate vascular system, according to new study resulted from a partnership between the D"Or Institute for Research ...

Color of judo uniform has no effect on winning

February 22, 2018
New research on competitive judo data finds a winning bias for the athlete who is first called, regardless of the colour of their uniform. This unique study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, puts to rest the debate on ...

Infants are able to learn abstract rules visually

February 22, 2018
Three-month-old babies cannot sit up or roll over, yet they are already capable of learning patterns from simply looking at the world around them, according to a recent Northwestern University study published in PLOS One.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Corban
not rated yet Apr 23, 2008
Everything has a price, but it doesn't have to be in dollars. If it gives a warm fuzzy feeling, basically it's as good as gold, right? While this is already recognized in organizational studies, no one's been able to figure out the exchange rate of money to intrinsic reward.

For one thing, you can't measure warm fuzzy feelings.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.