Why Bragging Feels So Damn Good

(Illustration via Photodisc.)

You know how some people just love the sound of their own voice? The ones whose every aspect of life is worth marveling over, and are more than happy to share every detail with you, regardless of your degree of interest? Those boasters and braggarts were the subject of a recent study by Harvard neuroscientists, who found that our brains like bragging so much because it triggers a reward response in our brains’ neurons that’s similar to when we receive food, money, or even sex.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that in some cases, people feel so good about talking about themselves that they value it more than money. When asked if they’d rather disclose personal information or receive a financial sum, many chose the former. The scientists found that we spend 30 to 40 percent of our days talking about ourselves, and believe it to be a evolutionary adaptation that allows us procure knowledge from others instead of having to learn everything first hand. You know, because not everyone can spend weekends sipping Moët on the back of a yacht, so it’s better to hear your boastful friend tell you about it, at length, just so you can really understand exactly how awesome it is.

Of course, the fact that they’re at Harvard provides a perfect opportunity for a follow-up study. Here’s hoping the neuroscientists can finally determine why all Harvard graduates can’t seem to admit that they actually went to school there. The true mystery lives on.