Giving Gets You High!

by Moin Uddin Ahmed Tipu

Call it a giver’s high! When we give selflessly, a host of chemicals are released in our brain, inducing a “giving” high. Laci looks at the science behind the “giver’s high,” and why it feels so good.

DNews is a show about the science of everyday life. We post new videos three times a day, every weekday.

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Jonny Curtis May 5, 2013 - 1:48 AM

You could argue that people give because it makes themselves happy, hence it is selfish. However there are numerous ways that i can make myself happy that do not improve the lives of others. So perhaps it is because i choose a method of attaining happiness which does not ONLY benefit me, but others as well, makes it more selfless.
In spite of this i don't think it really matters what the motivation is, just the fact that people do it.

MIngeB❒X May 23, 2013 - 5:32 AM

Even if people give just for the "high" of doing so, at least they're giving. I don't see why people are pointing this out if giving is helping others more than it's helping the person with the high.

UniversalExpanse May 26, 2013 - 2:45 AM

if you wanna get high just give me heaps of free stuff :P

YuikiHanegawa May 30, 2013 - 8:35 AM

I give because, i just do it lol
like wen i have extra food, I give it to the homeless instead of money so they dont spend it on something like alcohol or cigarettes.
or i will give them money with coupon for food
I just do it, not to feel good, but just you know get others to do it as well i guess?

Cameron Shuttlewood June 4, 2013 - 5:13 AM

Can I choose both approaches? I love giving to and helping other people, but that doesn't mean I think it's selfless, I get a huge kick out of it… That doesn't make it a bad thing to do, everyone wins :)

cryvsspy June 8, 2013 - 10:38 AM

so ppl are generally a-hole, but not you, right lacy? HYPOCRITE

black guy steve June 14, 2013 - 12:33 PM

im going to blow up this channel!!!

SilverOwl13 June 19, 2013 - 2:01 PM

"Some people may call a kind deed
An act of mere hypocrisy
But never mind those who have lost faith
You shouldn't give into what they say
As a matter of fact, let me tell you
Even if it was for a selfish cause
A salvageable hypocrisy
Is superior to murderous honesty"
– Joe Inoue

Concepts June 21, 2013 - 10:20 PM

I don't care if I'm selfish when giving ^^ the other bugger benefits by it too – so happy all around ^^

Deena Dakhiel June 25, 2013 - 6:23 AM

according to friends the tv show, there is no selfless good deed. haha

verifymyageful June 25, 2013 - 9:32 AM

If you do it because it makes you feel good = selfish.

I don't know why people look at being selfish as such a negative thing, compassion and empathy all come from self reflection.. people just want other people to be thinking about them.
Kinda funny.

Zizo July 10, 2013 - 3:29 AM

ok guys my bank account is 667458-856-23
just let me make you happy

Evan Andrew July 27, 2013 - 7:23 AM

What's with the scary ending music?

Chuito12PR August 7, 2013 - 10:47 AM

Are you sure you are not Santa? Cause I got a hell of a list you never delivered.

Ilia Sibiryakov August 9, 2013 - 9:08 PM

santa is very high

Daniel Gray August 17, 2013 - 8:23 PM

I would give so much more,
But unfortunately my family is poor,
So whenever I get a chance to go to the store,
I will try to give more.

That was lame… but true
I'll try not to be blue.

(Wtf am I writing XD)

ShadowTheSoulless August 26, 2013 - 2:46 PM

I like to see when i make some one else happy, if i give them something and it doesn't make them happy its a let down because they didnt get joy out of something, and i normally have to go get something else , i normally carefully plan out gifts , i basically study who im buying a gift for so i know its something they will like.

xxdwbxx September 3, 2013 - 6:16 AM

as a spiece i belive humans are by nature developed to be selfish and suspicious.. it just makes sence.. think of a joyful and giving caveman and you ll see where im going with this. he just didnt get the chance to pass the gene.

Cave Rave October 10, 2013 - 5:05 PM

But I get buyer's remorse (or giver's remorse) as soon as I hand the gift over…

Red Martinez October 10, 2013 - 5:41 PM

You sir, deserves my like

TNinja0 October 15, 2013 - 7:19 AM

Well, there is this gift jealousy.
As in "Fuck, my brother just gave mom a better present than me" situations.
I suppose this is the selfish part?

Robert Schultz October 23, 2013 - 12:38 PM

doesnt this basically just refer to Emmanual Kant and his edict of good will?

The Review Ninja February 23, 2014 - 5:32 AM

I can see how people can think giving is a selfish act but I don't agree. I personally give to help the other person and in a lot of instances I would've benefited more by NOT giving.

alexandra garcia March 3, 2014 - 11:01 PM

she's so cute :3

Poodleinacan March 16, 2014 - 8:56 PM

But I'm already high on life.

Pyotyr Young March 20, 2014 - 7:20 AM

Yeah go socialism and down with greed.

Darren Luke March 28, 2014 - 9:44 PM

The gift receiver shows appreciation for a gift or compliment with a "thank you" as the thank you allows the giver to feel appreciated.  The "giver" then says "Your welcome" to allow the receiver to not feel selfish.

The receiver was not selfish because they gave back with the thank you which makes the giver feel appreciated which was the reason the gift was given in the first place and because the receiver never asked for the gift.

I have seen people who give as a selfish reason.  They give and don't take just so they can say "I always give and never take" and complain about everyone else.  They flat out refuse any gifts that anyone tries to give them.

For giving to be selfless, you need to give without expecting anything in return, not even a thank you.  You should not complain about anyone else who doesn't give to you or takes what you give, and you need to take what is given to you as well.

BaconOfTheDarkSide April 18, 2014 - 7:29 PM

My name means giver in hebrew…

Richard McLaughlin April 20, 2014 - 11:21 PM

Doing something because it feels good isn't a bad thing. To be frank, if somebody were doing something for me, I would love for them to get a reward in helping me rather than do so begrudgingly. 

Burgundy Socks July 5, 2014 - 12:16 PM

its really pathetic how people actually think our "human nature" is to do everything for ourselves. how can you explain why people do things for other people when they get no credit? Just to get a dopamine high of their idiotic brain who thinks they give a shit about anyone but themselves? Leave it to humans to exploit their own empathy 

That annoying bird December 23, 2014 - 6:33 AM

When I got off a plane back to my home state, I gave a pilot's badge to a lady that sat next to me and my father. Even if I presented it nicely and she appreciated it, I felt empty and autonomous inside, thinking I could have done better.

Yesterday, my mother ordered pizza and I gave the delivery man a bag full of mom's home-made cookies. I still feel empty. What's wrong with me?

Isabelle Moore December 23, 2014 - 11:40 PM

It's a time when we rise up hopefully

Julian Schecter July 16, 2016 - 2:23 AM

Food for thought, thank you! :)

Sushi Trash April 26, 2017 - 3:01 PM