Research: Facebook is as satisfying as food or sex

by Chi Ibe



A new Harvard study has revealed that posting views on Facebook and other social media sites delivers a powerful reward to the brain that is very similar to the pleasure from food and sex.


That’s right. The study published this week was led by two neuroscientists and they proved that “self-disclosure” produces a response in the region of the brain associated with dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure or the anticipation of a reward.


According to the findings of the research, most people devote 30 to 40 percent of their speech to “informing others of their own subjective experiences”. Those figures are doubled on social media, which is about 80 percent. “To the extent that humans are motivated to propagate the products of their minds, opportunities to disclose one’s thoughts should be experienced as a powerful form of subjective reward,” wrote Diana Tamir and Jason Mitchell of Harvard’s Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab.


“Just as monkeys are willing to for-go juice rewards to view dominant groupmates and college students are willing to give up money to view attractive members of the opposite sex, our participants were willing to for-go money to think and talk about themselves,” the researchers wrote.


They conclude “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.”



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