Do People Value Chosen Rewards More than given Ones?

People value rewards chosen for themselves rather than those given to them, according to 2014 research by Brown University, even if the given reward is equivalent to that which was chosen. Rewards that were chosen by subjects during the study showed that dopamine—a neurotransmitter—levels had risen, causing neural pathways to be reinforced. When the dopamine levels rise, it enhances cell response which can cause repeating rewarding behaviors for the future.

More about the human brain:

  • On average, the human brain weighs about 3 pounds (1.36 kg).
  • Harvard's Brain Bank contains over 7,000 human brains that are stored and used for research.
  • Sleep is important for the brain to store new memories created during the day - lack of sleep hurts the brain's ability to recall memories.

Discussion Comments


The other day, I was watching a trailer for a movie, and one of the characters said something along these lines - "Imagine what we would be able to accomplish if we used one hundred percent of our brain capacity". Fictional movie or not, it's very true.


Without a doubt, the human brain is a very interesting thing, especially in the sense that when we use it, there's so much potential involved. In fact, it really makes me wonder how much brain capacity most humans use during the entire life. After all, many people like to spend their time watching TV and playing video games. Even though there are those who are very studious, when it's all said and done, is it really something they enjoying doing, or do they only do it because they know they have to, such as on a college atmosphere?


In relation to the third bullet point, I find that very interesting, although not that surprising. Also, though there have been incidents where I didn't get enough sleep, I never had trouble recalling memories. Regardless though, I can definitely see how this is the case. For example, let's say that you're in college and you spend around six hours studying for a test. And then when midnight hits, you're ready to go to bed. Well let's just say that you decide to stay up all night and party. By the time the test comes the next day, you'll have trouble focusing, and won't be able to recall your memories. However, when you sleep on your studies, it helps you to store any memories you had during the day.

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