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The hidden interests of altruism

The hidden interests of altruism

The selfless altruism It is gradually becoming as prevalent as the vision of a unicorn, as a study of the motives of altruism shows.

It is true that many people carry out activities with great altruism; but, generally, these individuals do not stitch without thread. and they wait at all times receive something in return of your good deeds. If not, tell them to Mark Zuckerberg.

The regions of the brain that lead us to be altruistic, have known each other for years, but those that lead us to do so by reciprocity or by tie, were a mystery until now. However, a group of researchers from the Zrich University, has managed to give an answer, the results of which are still surprising.

What two types of altruism are there?

When we commit altruistic acts, we can do it by tie or by reciprocity.

The first case occurs when we perform good actions towards someone who is having a bad time, for the simple fact of put ourselves in their place and think about how we want them to help us.

On the other hand, we can also be altruistic when we hope to get some kind of benefit in exchange, either financially, for social recognition or, as they say, for owing us one in the future.

The experiment that reveals the reasons for altruism

To check the causes of these two ways of acting, these scientists took a group of volunteers and divided them into two groups, who were induced altruism by tie or reciprocity.

The first group was made to observe how another individual, cooperating with investigators, received a series of electric shocks causing pain. In this way, they were made to feel tie to them.

Meanwhile, the second group had to do with how their peers gave money in return that they did not receive these downloads, so they felt in debt with them.

They were then subjected to a magnetic resonance, which measures the activity of your brains while performing altruistic acts towards their companions. In both groups the same areas; specifically the anterior nsula, the anterior cingulate cortex, and the striatum, but if you checked how they interacted with each other, you could see that neural connections were very different.

Egos are also altruistic

The most curious part of this experiment is that it was found that if the brain connections were observed in selfish people by committing altruistic acts, these correspond to the altruism by tie. Instead, those who considered themselves prosocial (the typical millionaires who so often donate part of their money) do it for reciprocity, waiting for something in return.

Let's go; that all that glitters is not gold and the most common is to disguise charitable interests. I wish we could have a brain scanner at home to check these acts ourselves, right?

Go: Scientific American University of Zurich