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Giving and happiness refers to the apparent causal relationship that exists between prosocial spending and subjective wellbeing.

When a person donates money that they could have spent on themselves, the resulting change in wellbeing depends not only on the welfare loss from forgone self-interested spending, but also on possible welfare gains associated with the perception that the spending will help other people or promote a worthy cause. The net causal impact of giving on happiness can thus be analyzed as the sum of these two effects.

Within the effective altruism community, the relationship between giving and happiness has attracted some attention because it bears on a number of debates of interest, such as debates concerning altruistic motivation and the demandingness of morality.


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