DOING GOOD & This study suggests that the boundaries between self-interest and altruism aren’t tidy: Doing good for others makes us feel good, and we engage in all kinds of pro-social behaviors to get that warm glow, a kind of morally informed dopamine hit.

The Joy of Saving the World: Research suggests a surprising motive for environmentalism: feeling good.

By Liza Featherstone, The New Republic Magazine, June 28, 2022.

… “Warm glow” scholarship like Shrum’s has, over the last few decades, been helping to complicate the economics profession’s view of human nature as purely self-interested. This line of inquiry began in 1990 with a study that found that donating to charity gave people a warm glow. This scholarship suggests that the boundaries between self-interest and altruism aren’t tidy: Doing good for others makes us feel good, and we engage in all kinds of pro-social behaviors to get that warm glow, a kind of morally informed dopamine hit.

… This might be why environmentalists, despite the dour messaging, “are actually really happy,” says Shrum, who in addition to her academic career is the founder of an environmental nonprofit. “They have a higher level of life satisfaction, counter to the stereotype of the angry environmentalist.” More recently, she says, “we’re starting to see that not only do people feel good about themselves when they do something good for the environment, but this anticipation of that warm glow, the anticipation of feeling good about being green is one of the strongest drivers of pro-environmental behavior.” Those who experience warm glow after a small beneficial act—in her experiment, performing a task that raised money for an environmental organization—want to do more. In other words, says Shrum, the warm glow from environmental action leads people into a “virtuous cycle.” Shrum’s research also suggests that the warm glow can be strengthened and reinforced (by praising and thanking people, making them feel appreciated).

Read more at … https://newrepublic.com/article/166914/environmentalism-happiness-joy-saving-world?

Below is the research article … https://www.jstor.org/stable/2234133

Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving

by James Andreoni, The Economic Journal, Volume 100, Issue 401, 1 June 1990, Pages 464–477, https://doi.org/10.2307/2234133

https://www.jstor.org/stable/2234133