psychologists and therapists use hypotheses and conduct social experiments to prove certain theories and to change the world, one person at a time. When you think about social media, one of the biggest things that may come to mind is “likes.” Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all use a “like” system for users to communicate their feelings about certain thoughts, ideas, and images that come across in their social media accounts. Tapping the heart or the thumbs-up symbol that accompanies every post communicates your approval of the post to the person who posted it. Facebook takes this a step further by allowing additional “reactions,” allowing users to indicate sadness, anger, or laughter at posts. In today’s society, getting a large number of likes is highly coveted, which has roots in psychology. Psychology and “Likes” on Social Media A big part of why social media has become what it is today is due to the way it makes us feel. Studies have shown that the reaction that happens in our brains when we get likes and comments on social media is similar to the reaction that occurs when we eat chocolate or hug a loved one. Psychology tells us that the reason we feel warm and fuzzy inside at these times is due to the release of dopamine , otherwise known as “the happy chemical,” in our brains. To understand why we love things (such as social media) that cause our brains to release dopamine as much as we do, we must first understand how the brain processes the world around us. Think of the human brain as a group of circuits. Each of these circuits serves a specific purpose. Some of them are responsible for helping us to avoid danger, reminding us to eat and drink, and telling



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