Research On Kindness: The Findings

  • 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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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.

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.

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RELATED IDEAS

Being thankful and saying thanks to others is good for our health and happiness, and helps build trust.

Normally, the act of saying thanks is observed as a two-person exchange, the person giving thanks and the one receiving it. New studies reveal that the benefits spread beyond the two people involved.

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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.

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.

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