Even though they often enhance happiness, acts of kindness such as giving a friend a ride or bringing food for a sick family member can be somewhat rare because people underestimate how good these actions make recipients feel, according to new research from The University of Texas at Austin.
The study by UT Austin McCombs School of Business Assistant Professor of Marketing Amit Kumar, along with Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago, found that although givers tend to focus on the object they’re providing or action they’re performing, receivers instead concentrate on the feelings of warmth the act of kindness has conjured up. This means that givers’ “miscalibrated expectations” can function as a barrier to performing more prosocial behaviors such as helping, sharing or donating.
The research is online in advance in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
To quantify these attitudes and behaviors, the researchers conducted a series of experiments.
In one, the researchers recruited 84 participants in Chicago’s Maggie Daley Park. Participants could choose whether to give away to a stranger a cup of hot chocolate from the park’s food kiosk or keep it for themselves. Seventy-five agreed to give it away.
Could kindness be a magic elixir that makes us happier – and healthier?
Research suggests acts of kindness like donating money, volunteering and mentoring can boost the giver’s emotional health, but science also is studying how altruism improves physical health.
Acts of kindness can take many forms, especially amid Random Acts of Kindness Week from Feb. 13-19. It can be as simple as holding a door for someone, to a commitment like donating blood or starting a fundraiser. (The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has many ideas to get you going.)
Gabi, my miniature poodle and canine companion, turns 16 years old today on December 12. She has lived with me for the past 15-1/2 years. In that period I can’t remember a day in which she didn’t bring a smile to my face or make me laugh out loud.
Gabi weighs 11 pounds. The vet said that a dog this size ages as follows: First year = 17 years, every year after that = 4 years, So Gabi, in people years, is 77 years old.
Also, in the course of our three daily walks, I have met hundreds of people that I never would have encountered otherwise. Some came in and out of my life like raindrops, but many have remained and become a part of my life.
Celebrating her birthday is personal for me and isn’t going to help anyone to lose any pounds or inches. However, a pet can play an important part in one’s happiness. Check out the post – Owning a pet can benefit your mental and physical health.
Although she is a part of my life now, I didn’t have a dog for over 50 years. My brother and I had a dog when I was around 10 years old, but it wasn’t long before he became my father’s dog. You can read about how Gabi came into my life in the post – Anatomy of an act of kindness.
Earlier this year I wrote a post on The ravages of old age which you can read by clicking the link. Gabi is clearly no longer a pup, but while she has some of her abilities waning, she still, hopefully has a long way to go.
What does Monaco mean to you? When I hear Monaco I think of the famous entertainers and athletes who have settled there to take advantage of the fact that Monaco levies no income taxes, so it functions as a tax haven worldwide.
There is also a famous sports car event called The Monte Carlo Rally which has been held there since 1911. It is considered to be Monaco’s Grand Prix, organized by the Automobile Club de Monaco. Long considered to be one of the toughest and most prestigious events in rallying. For 35 years, from 1973 to 2008 it was the opening round of the World Rally Championship.
Probably the principal thing that sticks in my mind about Monaco is the recollection of the storybook romance between movie star Grace Kelly and Monaco’s Prince Rainier. A true affair of the heart.
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But the Principality of Monaco has an even bigger heart in the area of looking after the young. It practices as a matter of policy acts of kindness toward afflicted children in developing countries. I advocate acts of kindness on a personal basis. It is good to see them practiced as a matter of policy by a country.
Twelve-year-old Aminata Keita, who lives in the Republic of Mali suffers from cardimyopathy. This is a rare disease that requires open heart surgery to repair. That kind of sophisticated medical treatment is not possible in Mali. However, the Mother and Child Hospital there referred Aminita to the Monaco Thoracic Center for treatment.
Dr. Gilles Dreyfus of the Cardio-Thoracic Center of Monaco says it treats all thoracic diseases from newborns to the very old.
Repairing Animata’s faulty heart valves allows her to live for the next 15 to 20 years without problems.
This was made possible by the Monaco Public Fund helps to finance these activities in particular for children with cardiovascular disease in developing countries.