Scientists from the University of Zurich conducted a double-blind study and concluded that women are more generous than men. It is reported NakedScience.
The researchers suggested that “the reward system” of the female brain responds more actively in voluntary actions that benefit other people. Experts argue that the causes for these differences: brain mechanisms of women or the difference in upbringing and society’s attitude towards the generosity for women and men.
The study involved 55 people: 27 women and 28 men, their average age was 23 years. Participants are asked to play a financial game. People can obtain a certain amount of money for yourself or to share remuneration with another person. Participants made choices in several situations with different scenarios: changed the amount of “selfish” reward and the degree of intimacy with the person with whom they can share the prize.
The researchers suggested that the desire to help others (prosocial behaviour) may be associated with the work of the “reward system” of the brain.
To learn about how dopamine (the substance which allows to feel pleasure) is associated with prosocial behavior, the players were divided into two groups. The first group before the game took amisulpride antipsychotic that blocks dopamine receptors, the second group got a placebo.
After taking a placebo women took the decision to share money in 51% of cases, men 40%. Under the influence of the blocker, the women showed generosity in 45% of cases and men at 44%. During the second experiment people (40 men and women) took the MRI examination, choosing between immediate, but smaller reward and a larger prize that could be obtained in 90 days. These studies confirmed that regions of the brain associated with “reward system”, women were more active in prosocial behavior. According to the results of experiments, the researchers concluded: the tendency of women to be more generous (e.g., to charity) can be explained by the peculiarities of the dopamine receptors.
The study should draw attention to the fact how closely related features of education of women and the mechanisms of the brain.
See also: Every fifth man against woman – report