(Click here for OZY’s piece on the subject.)
The substance is tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone that’s released, for instance, after you get a hug .
Apparently, the researchers fed half the study sample of 32 men and women a supplement containing roughly the same amount of tryptophan in three eggs and the other half a placebo. Each was given some money and asked to give as they pleased to the assembled donation boxes.
The trptophan-eaters gave twice as much.
The researchers aren’t able yet to say how exactly tryptophan makes us give more but it stands to reason that anything that makes you feel good (about yourself or life) is probably something that inspires acts of goodness.