Love Thyself

Amazing article in the wsj (mercifully ungated) on a study about what happens when you talk about yourself:

Talking about ourselves—whether in a personal conversation or through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter—triggers the same sensation of pleasure in the brain as food or money, researchers reported Monday.

About 40% of everyday speech is devoted to telling others about what we feel or think. Now, through five brain imaging and behavioral experiments, Harvard University neuroscientists have uncovered the reason: It feels so rewarding, at the level of brain cells and synapses, that we can’t help sharing our thoughts.

“People were even willing to forgo money in order to talk about themselves,” Ms. Tamir said.

Isn’t that amazing? You can see why people say stupid things in interviews and the like: they’re so high on having someone listen to them that they mess up!

I’d love to see a study of people who read transcripts of themselves talking about themselves months later: I’d imagine they’d judge it harshly.

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