Thursday, May 1, 2008

Emotional deposits same as cash rewards

Stephen Covey now has some hard data to support his “emotional bank account” theory - compliments create the same brain activity as paying someone cash, according to recently released Japanese research.

Now, scientific data proves that having a good reputation and being complimented can give people a “psychological boost,” that has the same emotional effect as receiving a hard reward (money).

In the study, scientists first monitored brain activity in subjects winning money at a card game. Then, they measured brain activity as the person reacted to a stranger reading personal evaluations, including compliments. Both the cash payouts and personal compliments stimulated the same area of the brain associated with rewards.

This research gives Covey’s emotional bank account idea strong scientific backing. Making “deposits” in someone’s emotional bank account, like telling them they’re doing a good job on a project, can have the same mental effect as putting a $5 bill in their piggy bank ($10 for a thank you card).

While you shouldn’t pull out your wallet and start handing out $20 bills at lunch today, just remember that a small compliment or act of kindness has a lasting impact. You’ve got the research, now start making deposits.

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