Date of this Version
Humans routinely share information with one another. What drives this behavior? We used neuroimaging to test an account of information selection and sharing that emphasizes inherent reward in self-reflection and connecting with other people. Participants underwent functional MRI while they considered personally reading and sharing New York Times articles. Activity in neural regions involved in positive valuation, self-related processing, and taking the perspective of others was significantly associated with decisions to select and share articles, and scaled with preferences to do so. Activity in all three sets of regions was greater when participants considered sharing articles with other people rather than selecting articles to read themselves. The findings suggest that people may consider value not only to themselves but also to others even when selecting news articles to consume personally. Further, sharing heightens activity in these pathways, in line with our proposal that humans derive value from self-reflection and connecting to others via sharing.
Baek, E.C., Scholz, C., O'Donnell, M.B., & Falk, E.B., The Value of Sharing Information: A Neural Account of Information Transmission, Psychological Science 28, no. 7: pp. 851-861. Copyright © 2017 Association for Psychological Science. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
This is a pre-publication version. The final version is available at
neuroimaging, cognitive processes, social interaction, social behavior, mass media, open materials
Baek, E. C., Scholz, C., O'Donnell, M. B., & Falk, E. B. (2017). The Value of Sharing Information: A Neural Account of Information Transmission. Psychological Science, 28 (7), 851-861. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797617695073
Available for download on Wednesday, August 01, 2018
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Date Posted: 15 June 2018
This document has been peer reviewed.