According to a recent Harvard University study published last month in an edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, posting on social media outlets, such as Facebook, give way to an increased rate of “self-disclosure," which leads to a spike in the amount of dopamine produced based on the pleasure or anticipation of a social-media post being viewed.
The study discovered “that humans so willingly self-disclose because doing so represents an event with intrinsic value, in the same way as with primary rewards such as food and sex."
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Diana Tamir and Jason Mitchell of Harvard’s Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab studied how people would react when given the choice between a small cash reward for answering factual questions and a lesser reward for giving their own views and opinions on a subject on social media sites.
According to the study, a majority of the participants decided they’d rather talk about themselves: “Just as monkeys are willing to forgo juicy rewards to view dominant groupmates and college students are willing to give up money to view attractive members of the opposite sex, our participants were willing to forgo money to think and talk about themselves."