Kindness Is Contagious

Kindness Is Contagious

Observing the psychological aspects of kindness, witnessing a kind act makes one feel a ‘warm glow’ in our hearts, something which researchers call moral elevation.

When people watch other people being generous and kind, it inspires and motivates them to want to do good.

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When people observe kindness or generosity, they may be subtly pressured to look good and be more giving themselves. But this is just one of the minor reasons, as many act in an anonymous manner.

Seeing the other person being kind, people get to unconsciously copy their behaviour as the prosocial desire for goodness is rekindled.

  • Women seem to be affected (or motivated) more than men by the kind behaviour of other people.
  • A kind act on the street, or on TV had the same effect on people.
  • The kind of kindness witness related to the response of the witness. If the act was praising, for instance, the response would be similar.
  • If a lot of time passed between witnessing the act and trying to act in a similar manner, the giving impetus diminished.

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Be Kind to Strangers

Kindness towards an individual goes a long way.

You can help strangers on the street, help the old lady cross the busy road, or give your seat in the Subway to a needy person.

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A study found that people are more willing to donate when a charity appeals to the benefits the donors will receive than to altruism.

Researchers mailed postcards encouraging randomly assigned families to donate money to charity. The postcard either highlighted the benefits to others or the benefits to themselves. Those who received the postcard promoting self-benefits were 6.6 percent more likely to give and gave 23 percent more on average.

Psychologists do not understand human moral behavior, because it seldom makes any logical sense.

Using moral philosophy and psychology, biology, economics, mathematics, and computer science, scientists are trying to study how morality operates in the real world.

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