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People who frequently boast about themselves on the internet receive similar pleasures sparked by food, money and sex, neuroscientists have found.

Researchers at Harvard University found that sharing your thoughts in person and on social networking sites had “intrinsic value”.

Experts said the findings may explain why people disclose personal or intimate details of their personal lives online.

Diana Tamir, a graduate student who led the study, said: "The Internet has drastically expanded the number of mediums through which we can talk about ourselves to other people.

"We were interested in why people engage in self-disclosure so seemingly excessively.

“The hypothesis we wanted to test was whether or not this behaviour provided people with intrinsic or subjective value - did it feel good to do it.

“This helps to explain why people so obsessively engage in this behaviour. It's because it provides them with some sort of subjective value. It feels good, basically.”

The study also noted that people were so keen to brag about their achievements, they would rather give up money than their chance to boast.

If a subject decided to talk about themselves over others, they were asked to give up some of their fee for the study.

Tamir found that people would forgo up to 25 per cent of their earnings from the study to talk about themselves instead of others.

Previous studies have found that 30 to 40 per cent of human speech is used to divulge information about private experiences or personal relationships.

But four in five posts on social media sites were found to be about intimate experiences.


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