Despite the dreary and dull surroundings, Christmas time is the brightest of the year. The chilly wintry air during the end of the year seems filled with generosity. And science has something to say about this Christmas spirit.
Apparently, this is to do with a behavior model named ‘upstream reciprocity’. Researchers say that this phenomenon also explains being charitable during Christmas. The concerned study was conducted by Martin Nowak from Harvard University and Sebastian Roch from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. They used complex mathematical models to understand how gratitude and charity replaced survival of the fittest in human evolution.
The conclusion of their study is that a person who has received help would be kind to the others around him. The researchers call this act “an ‘epidemiology of altruism’ resulting in an explosive increase of altruistic acts.” What puzzled the researchers was whether this behavior made any sense from an evolutionary standpoint.
In the animal kingdom, kindness is shown only on some rare occasions. Even then, most acts of kindness are done for a reason. In the human society, many random acts of kindness happen without an obvious benefit for the doer. And this behavior has benefited man in the long evolutionary run, according to the study.
“We show that upstream reciprocity alone does not lead to the evolution of cooperation. But it can evolve and increase level of cooperation if linked to either direct or spatial reciprocity,” the researchers said. They added that their analysis shows gratitude and other positive emotions, which increase the willingness to help others, can evolve even in the competitive world of natural selection.
Go ahead, indulge yourself in the Christmas spirit, too. Help someone in need by raising funds for FREE on Crowdera. You could also take some ideas from this post of ours. Or do something even better. Create a fundraiser for your favorite nonprofit or cause on Crowdera. Ask all your family and friends to donate towards it instead of giving you gifts this Christmas.