The Neuroscience Behind Facebook’s Success

Neuroscience meets Facebook

The Neuroscience of FacebookIt’s official, I am now on Facebook. I have resisted up til now, and finally caved in, primarily so my ‘Friends’ and family can see my kids grow up virtually. And of course to see who “likes” me out there! Big deal, right?

Big deal it is indeed (worth gazillions from what I hear). Who would have thought that Friends, and people who “Like you” were so important that a gazillion people spend a gazillion hours Facebooking?

It turns out that there is a brain-based reason behind it.  According to David Rock in his ‘Your Brain at work” book, the brain is a SOCIAL ANIMAL.

Neuroscience and Social Networks

“Social neuroscientists think of the human brain as having a social network, responsible for all your interactions with your social world, similar to other networks you have for seeing, moving or hearing. This means that the social issues matter to our brain. Some scientists now believe that social needs are in the category of primary threats and primary rewards, as essential for survival as food and water.”


So eat your heart out, Maslow. Your hierarchy of ‘basic needs’ is being fundamentally challenged…

It is now believed that being hungry and being ostracized activates similar threat and pain responses, using the same survival networks.

So for all the skeptics out there who never fully understood or agreed with the value of the Employee Engagement Gallup statement “I have a best friend at work”, including yours truly, it’s time to rethink the social world of employees from a brain based perspective.

Not so “fufu” anymore, is it?

I am not a betting girl, but the recent Facebook IPO is looking  pretty good to my hardwired, social brain!

Join the Conversation!

As leaders, how do you create a workplace that maximizes “primary social rewards”?

Isabelle Clements


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