OK, you know that giving to something you believe in feels good, but do you know why? Researchers are starting to shed more light on that.
...NIH [National Institutes of Health] researchers used MRIs to monitor brain activity as 19 people made decisions to give - or not give - to a variety of causes. For charitable giving, their imaging study "strongly supports the existence of `warm glow' at a biological level," said Dr. Jorge Moll, the lead researcher. "It helps convince people that doing good can make them feel good; altruism therefore doesn't need to be ONLY sacrifice."
So what does that actually mean?
...researchers said they found that giving activated two areas of the brain: the part that is activated by reward reinforcement, which also is activated by sex, drugs and money, and the part that influences social attachments, trust and economic interactions.
The two areas work not in competition but together, which "enables us to make altruistic decisions," Moll said.