August 6, 2020, Paper: "Perhaps one of the most reaffirming findings to emerge over the past several decades is that humans not only engage in generous behavior, they also appear to experience pleasure from doing so. Yet not all acts of helping lead to greater happiness. Here, we review the growing body of evidence showing that people engage in a wide array of prosocial behaviors (e.g., charitable giving, volunteering, blood/organ donation, offering advice, food sharing) which can promote positive emotions. Then, using self‐determination theory, a foundational theory of human motivation, we consider when and how generous actions are most likely to boost the helper's happiness—and when they are not. Finally, we leverage these insights to consider how public policy and organizations can apply this information to make prosocial action more emotionally rewarding for citizens and employees alike"
Non-HKS Author Website - Ashley Whillans