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Talking About Ourselves Is Intrinsically Rewarding: Research

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Ambrose Bierce said it best in his The Devil’s Dictionary: ‘Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen.’ Researchers, however, offer scientific evidence: talking about ourselves activates the areas of the brain linked to value and motivation, the same stimulated by food, sex, money and drug addiction.

‘Self-disclosure is a behavior that we do all of the time, day in and day out: When you talk to people, they’ll often talk about themselves,’ says Diana Tamir, graduate student in the department of Psychology at Harvard University and co-author of the study. ‘On Twitter and Facebook, people are primarily posting about what they’re thinking and feeling in the moment. This is one piece of evidence about why we may do that.’

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is based on a series of experiments involving questionnaires and brain scans. The findings may explain why people devote between 30% and 40% of their time to talking about themselves.

Source: Medical Xpress

Tamir, D., & Mitchell, J. (2012). Disclosing information about the self is intrinsically rewarding Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1202129109

Recommended reading:

An experimental test of processes underlying self-disclosure in computer-mediated communication

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