Every kind act breeds another, science says
A kind deed can never remain an isolated effort. It always creates a cascade of other good actions and feelings all around you. This leads to others also doing a good act. Behavioral scientists and psychologists may just have found an easier route to world peace through such findings.
In a study conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Diego and Harvard have proved just this. Their research was published by the authors James Fowler and Nicholas Christakis in the book ‘Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives’.
Their research consisted of one person giving out money for a charitable cause is a social experiment. The people who received the money were also presented with a way to help somebody else out in the future even if it involves adding more money of their own.
All the participants in the study were strangers to each other. The ones who received kindness were found to be more likely to help others out. This shows that any act of generosity creates a domino effect of goodness around.
“Though the multiplier in the real world may be higher or lower than what we’ve found in the lab,” Fowler said. “Personally it’s very exciting to learn that kindness spreads to people I don’t know or have never met. We have direct experience of giving and seeing people’s immediate reactions, but we don’t typically see how our generosity cascades through the social network to affect the lives of dozens or maybe hundreds of other people,” he added.
“The network functions like a matching grant,” Christakis said.
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