According to a new study, being generous to others is more likely to make you feel better longer than spending money on yourself, Metro reports.
Researchers at the University of Zurich conducted a small study with 50 participants to examine how generosity increases happiness and encourages other people to commit generous acts as well.
Participants were divided evenly between a control group and an experimental group. Each group was informed they would be given 25 Swiss francs each week for the four-week study.
The experimental group was told to spend money on other people, either by buying someone dinner or getting them a gift. The control group, on the other hand, was told to spend money on themselves, either through gifts or nice meals.
Researchers then measured participants’ blood-oxygen-levels as they completed a decision-making task. In this task, participants had to accept or reject. Their decision would result in another person gaining money and the participant losing money. Afterwards, participants ranked their happiness on a subjective scale.
According to results, the experimental group, which spent money on other people, was more likely to make generous decisions during the “accept or reject” exercise and they were more likely to report feeling happier than the control group.
“We find that a public pledge to be generous efficiently boosted generous behavior and happiness in experimental relative to control participants, who had committed to spend money on themselves,” the study researchers wrote.