Does Money Lead to Happiness? | The Science of Empathy


– We’re gonna give this to you, and let you make a decision. – That’s not fair. – Feeling another person’s
pains sounds kind of painful, and, yet, we still do it. Every year, a quarter
of Americans volunteer to help others in need, and two-thirds of them reported that they helped their neighbor. And when you take all of
that empathy you’re feeling, and actually act on it, well, that’s this whole nother thing. That is compassion. See, acting on that compassion is stacked with physical and mental benefits. We found one study that showed people who spent money on others felt even happier than people
who spent money on themselves. And another study that
found donating to charity activates the same pleasure
centers of our brains as receiving money. You can go ahead and read
those two studies down below, or you can keep watching because we wanted to test
them out for ourselves. First, we rastled up some participants. After giving them part one of our officially, patented, happiness test, we told them they’d be
given an extra 50 dollars. Today, we’re gonna give you a choice. – Okay. – This is 50 dollars. – Okay. – And it’s gonna be up to
you what you do with it. We’re giving you the choice today to donate this to a cause
that you’re passionate about or you also have the option of keeping it and taking it home. – Okay. – There’s no right or wrong choice, whichever one you make, that’s the decision that we want to see. – All or none, one decision. – [Researcher] 50 dollars. – [Participant] I see. – One way or the other. – ‘Kay. – There you go. Just go ahead, decide what
you want to do with it and put it in whichever box
that you feel like doing. – Okay. – [Researcher] Okay. – That one. – That’s the booth. When you’re in there, we won’t
be filming what you’re doing, just your face and nobody will know whether you donate or keep it. Nobody watching, alright? – Okay. – Do I need to put it in
the envelope either way? – [Researcher] Yes, please. – Okay. – After they made their decision, they took the second part
of the happiness test. Now, at that point, we
had all the data we needed and considered the experiment complete. But, we thought we’d gently give them the opportunity to share whether they donated or
kept the money and why. We told you that your decision
was anonymous and it is. We don’t know what you decided to do. But if you do want to share it, we thought we’d give you the opportunity to tell us what you chose and why. – It was a little bit
hard for me to decide, to be honest, but I wound
up donating the money to the Los Angeles LGBT Center. – If you don’t mind,
could you share with us whether or not you donated today? – Sure, I decided to donate the money. It’s just a little thing that is gonna help families with special needs kids like ones that I’ve work with. – [Researcher] Would you
like to share with us what you decided to do? – Yeah, I decided to keep it actually. – Okay. – Yeah, I have a car insurance
bill that I have to pay so. – I donated it. I thought it’d be a kind
of a dick move to keep it but I also thought, you know,
I’m not in that position. I thought that 50 dollars for
me wouldn’t change my life. – How do you feel? – I decided to keep because I’m a single mom and I’m saving up to
get my daughter braces. – Those are expensive. The results, people who kept
the money for themselves, saw their self-reported happiness go up by an average of 4.3%. So you decided to keep it,
how do you feel afterwards? – I feel like it was a
confusing decision to make. ‘Cause you want to help
yourself, you know. – 50 dollars is nice. – Right. – Yeah.
– Yeah. Well, more than being nice, it’s a… It would be helpful.
– Yes. While people who showed
compassion and donated to a charity they cared about
felt their happiness go up almost twice as much, with an average increase of 8.57%. How do you feel now,
after putting 50 dollars in the donation box? – So good. – 50 dollars though is
a good chunk of money. – It’s a nice chunk of money. – Yeah.
– Yeah. I mean, it was that
little smidgen of cool, I’m not rich, I work a couple jobs, I work really hard. – So what overrode that? – Well, I could really use that 50 bucks, but I think should donate it. I’m not gonna feel it. Came in, it went out, I was able to do something
that I want to do in a greater amount than I normally do. I’m happy I was able to do that. – There are a lot of people
who could be using that money. I mean, I could be using that money too. – It’s a nice amount of money. – Yeah, I know, I mean, it’s 50 bucks. But at the end of the day, I think the organization needs it, and, I mean, I’m gay. And they just give so
much health resources to people in need that they’re just a really good organization. – The fact that you just handed me money to be able to help out one
of my former students is, that’s more than I could ask for. It meant so much . – It’s hard to show compassion because there’s some
cost associated with it. This time, it was monetary. Other times, you have to
sacrifice your time and energy. And often, showing compassion takes an emotional toll as well. But feeling empathy and acting on it, just feels good when the day is done. And that is what makes it worth the price. ♫ Soul Pancake

82 Comments

  1. Just A Spidey Wit Da Hoodie said:

    First

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  2. Just A Spidey Wit Da Hoodie said:

    Second

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  3. Just A Spidey Wit Da Hoodie said:

    Third

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  4. Maddie Doyle said:

    Yes tbh

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  5. Just A Spidey Wit Da Hoodie said:

    Fourth

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  6. Just A Spidey Wit Da Hoodie said:

    Aaaaand fifth.

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  7. Toca Twinz said:

    Hiii! Love your channel!

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  8. Toca Twinz said:

    Seventh!

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  9. Shannon Wietsma said:

    Yayy

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  10. Mhiesi Meyase said:

    yo

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  11. Levi said:

    Could their increase in happiness (on camera) be connected to the fact that they are being recorded and they wanted to look good on camera?

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  12. Genevieve said:

    I’m watching this while in line at Starbucks drive-thru, It’s inspired me to pay for the person’s coffee behind me. Never done this before! Lol, hope it’s not a huge order! Love SoulPancake!

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  13. Maico Nijboer said:

    So, here's $50, you can donate or keep, we won't know. 5 seconds later – did you donate or keep? Get tricked lol

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  14. Edwin said:

    wealth effect not accounted for, that $50 was not earned by them

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  15. aj adair said:

    Yas

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  16. Lisandro Peña said:

    The brunette girl is gorgeous

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  17. Badhon Ebrahim said:

    somuch acting going on.

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  18. FlyingPug said:

    Who speaks pig Latin here

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  19. NH.-B said:

    Empathy is my drug

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  20. Paul said:

    This video made me pay for the person behind me at the McDonald's drive thru 😀 … That MOTHERFUCKER SPENT 40$ ON DAMN CHICKEN NUGGETS

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  21. ForTheVirtue said:

    Rather be sad in my mansion and Ferrari, than sad and homeless 😜

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  22. Cahidi Joyo Raharjo said:

    It's kinda obvious that this experiment is scripted.

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  23. Crystal Dao said:

    If I had the choice, I would have donated $25 and kept the other $25 🙂

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  24. lazulianwater said:

    It's possible they didn't feel as good when keeping the money because they were guilted by the camera and the social pressure they felt around the situation. While I like soul pancake, I'm not a fan of how unscientific these studies are. I feel like it really detracts from the final message they are trying to show.

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  25. petster13 said:

    Keep the money, half the money goes yo the people who run the charity anyways. Volunteer for charity instead, it's priceless and full of experience. Your time is worth more than 50 bucks

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  26. CaptainKeytie00 said:

    Can anyone tell me the name of the outro song? Pls 🙂

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  27. Fátima Reyes said:

    Is there a way I can access that hapiness test? Thank you. 😉

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  28. Hassan Albahrani said:

    to be honest i would take the money and then say i donated it

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  29. Jaydev Solanki said:

    Out of 50$ I will be donating 5$ and happiness is in sharing no matter it is little.

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  30. collins mugodo said:

    Fun video…. But poorly designed experiment

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  31. Kerri Cz said:

    People who know they are being watched act differently than they would otherwise. So it's not really "scientific" at all… but I get the point.

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  32. videogamebomer said:

    I think the fact that their being filmed affected their choices

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  33. Austin said:

    I like the message that is being portrayed here but it's not fully accurate. While being empathetic increases happiness, economic status is also linked with a person's level of happiness too, but wasn't controlled for. I sympathize with the people who kept the money because I probably would have in this moment, I'm flat broke right now and have bills to pay. I could use that money badly, and it's hard to justify giving if I can't even give to myself

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  34. the pug awsome gamer said:

    What ever happened to kid president he has valuable lessons to teach if you agree reply in a good way

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  35. elenabob said:

    5:17, she is so bright but seeing the scar on her arm I realized that it must have hurt a lot.

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  36. Matej Velican said:

    5:06 Oh really? Who the heck would say…
    Sky is blue.
    Apple is healthy.
    Earth is not flat.

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  37. Gaurav Doulatani said:

    You need to get people who are in the same financial situation. Also people donated because it was just $50. Had it been more money (like around $500 or more) I don't think many people would donate.

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  38. Junniewalker said:

    aaaand u will get a tax deduction while doing it. Kaboom

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  39. Hope M said:

    Love this channel so much

    October 26, 2017
    Reply
  40. SPIDER LILIEZ said:

    From DNEWS to here… you look great with facial hair.

    October 27, 2017
    Reply
  41. Shinaah said:

    The issue here is that this video is not nuanced in regarding situations. One of the women pointed out she kept it to help save up for her daughters braces. Does that mean she is less happy?

    When you donate to something it is for a cause to help others, but in some cases, you or your family may be the one who needs help.

    October 27, 2017
    Reply
  42. bruchpilot747 said:

    Could you do another experiment?:
    This time ask your partakers to bring a 50$ bill. Upon the begnining of the experiment let them hand you the 50$ and thn continue as you did in this video. It would be very interesting to see the outcome here.

    October 28, 2017
    Reply
  43. Nirvana One said:

    It depends on every individuals
    circumstance

    October 28, 2017
    Reply
  44. Mariah _ said:

    About a year ago I would have donated the money, but after learning more from friends in the social work field I see that giving of my time is more important; so I would keep the money then go volunteer.

    October 28, 2017
    Reply
  45. Simon Bell said:

    What happened to the black girl? What she did? Did she kept the money?

    October 28, 2017
    Reply
  46. Carolina Castro Parra said:

    This is cool and I totally believe it but how do you make the measure and get a percentage?

    October 28, 2017
    Reply
  47. Milo The Lion said:

    Woah, $64 is a lot of money. I probably would have donated it because I would for definitely feel happier giving money to people who need it more than I do.

    October 29, 2017
    Reply
  48. ミライ said:

    Not part of the experiment but I played this game to see how accurate my 'first impression'/'ability to read people' is. So before hearing whether they decided to donate or keep I would guess who kept and who donated.
    It was entertaining. Highly recommend 😀

    October 29, 2017
    Reply
  49. fmous_n_fav said:

    Depends on person financial status

    October 30, 2017
    Reply
  50. level 3 neural network said:

    The question is wha

    November 1, 2017
    Reply
  51. ReneidKlein said:

    What I hate is how, at work, they tend to shame you if you don't donate. They bring the Red Cross or Salvation Army or whatever sheets around anually and pressure you to donate. If you say you don't want to then they ask why or try to say you should reconsider or not be selfish. Now granted, this could just be my personal experience with the places I work but I hate when people who are passionate about something try to urge you to donate by guilt-tripping you. They have no idea what I am dealing with at home or how much I donate. I give my time and money to many things. I help friends and family all the time and often times go without things I want to make sure my family and friends have things they need. I work hard and get paid less than I should for it so when they try to guilt me into paying "even just one dollar" or something, it really irks me.

    You can be passionate about something and explain why someone might want to consider donating or helping but guilting someone into something like saying "just one dollar" is an unfair tactic because that person might only have a few bucks in their pocket till the next pay period and that "one dollar" could have been the difference between them being able to afford a decent meal that day or having to put an item back at the checkout counter that day. Looking out for yourself and/or your family should not come second to strangers. Yes, it is good to help others less fortunate but if your well-being suffers for it then maybe it wasn't the best decision.

    November 11, 2017
    Reply
  52. Kaolag Xiong said:

    I'm not a scientist, but I'm wondering how this experiment would have went if you guys had a group of people of the same social status, without huge loans of any sort do this experiment. I would be more curious to see the result of that.

    November 16, 2017
    Reply
  53. thehoneyeffect said:

    If you can afford to give give but if you can’t keep it

    I would’ve kept 45 and donated five

    November 17, 2017
    Reply
  54. Jack Balitok said:

    Yeah, may empathy guarantee your survival.

    December 2, 2017
    Reply
  55. Doing Good Together™ (DGT™) said:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! We agree, empathy is a muscle that must be exercised. We can do that via the habits we create for ourselves and our family. (Kindly visit our nonprofit organization for tips on how to raise kids who are kind and caring: DoingGoodTogether.org)

    December 5, 2017
    Reply
  56. generic person said:

    I would keep it.

    December 23, 2017
    Reply
  57. Tom Carpino said:

    Great video @soulpancake

    December 25, 2017
    Reply
  58. Noah Henderson said:

    What I liked was it seeeemed that those who kept it did it because they more needed it than wanted.

    December 25, 2017
    Reply
  59. Alexis Turcios said:

    Mo money less problems

    December 26, 2017
    Reply
  60. AS said:

    I wonder if a lot of the happiness was effected by the cameras. I assume if they weren’t being filmed their happiness wouldn’t be the same.

    December 28, 2017
    Reply
  61. N. Johnson said:

    Money makes life easier and therefore indirectly could make people happier yes, but does it independently make people more happy? No…..thus why so many celebrities still struggle with depression, suicide, etc……

    January 6, 2018
    Reply
  62. Andrew Olsen said:

    For the people in the comments referring to the cameras putting pressure on them, try checking out the more in depth study in the description he referenced in the beginning of the video. Sometimes the camera does cheapen studies like this which is why I like when channels like this site their sources of inspiration.

    January 8, 2018
    Reply
  63. Kaitlyn Guy said:

    More people donated here because of pressure to (simply by being given the option. If they’d just been given $50, far fewer would have donated it), but also because they didn’t feel the money was theirs. They hadn’t earned it, to they don’t have as strong an attachment.

    January 11, 2018
    Reply
  64. John Dounts said:

    I would have keep the 50 dollars you need to help yourself before you can help others.

    January 12, 2018
    Reply
  65. FunForSameer said:

    Do this again but make them work for it.

    January 21, 2018
    Reply
  66. renanbelli said:

    This is far away from science.

    January 27, 2018
    Reply
  67. Wamp-Wamp said:

    This is incredibly bias. You are basically guilting them in to donating it. That being said if they really need $50 that badly in their life they need to rethink their current life choices. $50 should not be this big of a choice in your life. It should just be a "meh yeah I'll donate it, why not?"

    Did you pick those people off the craigslist work wanted add or what?

    January 28, 2018
    Reply
  68. Tash Henry said:

    Girl at 2:35 was on judge mablean for her son being expelled from school

    February 26, 2018
    Reply
  69. Niamh-Creates said:

    I would easily choose to keep it. I'll donate on my own time, privately. It's the pressure of the situation that I don't like. I don't want to feel pressured to do the "right thing", I want to do that on my own.

    March 14, 2018
    Reply
  70. Lauritonas said:

    I went to the mall with 50$ i saved up to buy my bro a present but on my way out there was some people holding a charity. I gave them the 50$. Didn’t really increase me.

    March 19, 2018
    Reply
  71. Hayley Jade said:

    i love these videos!!!!!!!

    April 3, 2018
    Reply
  72. DKiNG LJ said:

    The women who kept the money wasnt helping herself she donated the money to her children she is the needy and poor in this situation.

    April 7, 2018
    Reply
  73. DKiNG LJ said:

    I would have donated and not chose to share wat i did with it

    April 7, 2018
    Reply
  74. Don Cheeto said:

    If money weren't what determined happiness then maybe I'd donate more…

    April 8, 2018
    Reply
  75. Randy Smith said:

    I would have kept it of course!

    April 24, 2018
    Reply
  76. Randy Smith said:

    I would keep all of it for myself

    July 3, 2018
    Reply
  77. Sydney P. said:

    How would they know who decided to keep it in order to give it back if it's anonymous and they didn't disclose their decision at the end? I missed that tid bit…

    July 7, 2018
    Reply
  78. Laura said:

    I’d keep it and be happy lol

    October 3, 2018
    Reply
  79. HeckNoGMOs said:

    It wasn't my money to begin with, I didn't work for it. I always wish I had extra money to donate. So if it's just an amount that isn't going to change my life (even if it was, I would donate a portion) I would donate it to an animal rescue. My problem would be which one… Probably Animal Aid Unlimited. They do so much with such little resources…they save some very lost broken souls.

    November 22, 2018
    Reply
  80. Robin The SkyrimLord [NLD] said:

    Pfff Americans they think they are perfect they are stupid hippies always so happy with their fake bullshit but they are just a bunch of idiots 😂🤣

    March 11, 2019
    Reply
  81. Em Ray said:

    Cool so people who dont really need 50$ felt good about giving it away and people who felt they really needed 50$ felt kind of guilty.
    Idk this feels more like poor shaming.

    June 21, 2019
    Reply
  82. David Macias said:

    dummy boi xddddddd

    September 19, 2019
    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *