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Sin 0 — Altruism 1

September 2, 2009

Okay, I just read about something that I find fascinating.  I have read research on altruistic behaviour before and the research – to my memory – basically had shown that people will exhibit altruistic behaviour in many circumstances when they had no reason to.  But no one knew why!

Let’s flash forward to some research on the 7 Deadly Sins.  The research was largely based on fMRI research by several groups looking at one or more of the 7 Deadly Sins.  There was some interesting stuff but the most interesting thing had to do not with the Sins but to Virtue.

One researcher has found altruistic behaviour actually beats out sin in at least one area — neuro feedback.  When someone does something altruistic it sends the reward-related brain areas and systems into quite a fervor.  Even more than when you’re doing something selfish or related to self-interested gain. 

Looks like being the good guy wins out in the end.  Nice guys finish first or at least more neurologically rewarded.

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