Random Acts of Kindness: Why It Matters More Than You Think
The actor Morgan Freeman once said, “How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.”
We all know it feels good to do nice things for other people. But new research suggests we may underestimate the impact kindness has on the recipients.
The study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology involved multiple experiments centered around giving away items.
In one, 84 participants chose whether to keep or give a cup of hot chocolate. Ninety percent chose to give away their drinks. The researchers then asked the participants to evaluate how they felt about it. They later talked to the recipients to see how it impacted their mood.
The study found that those 74 people who gave out the hot chocolate actually underestimated how good it made the receiver feel.
“They get that being kind to people makes them feel good,” said Amit Kumar, lead researcher and Assistant Professor of Marketing at UT Austin McCombs School of Business. “What we don’t get is how good [the random act of kindness] really makes others feel.”
“Performers are not fully taking into account that their warm acts provide value from the act itself,” Kumar said. “The fact that you’re being nice to others adds a lot of value beyond whatever the thing is.”
A fun side effect of the study was that they found random acts of kindness can actually be contagious. It creates a pay-it-forward effect where kindness spreads.
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At Advena Living, we believe in a person-centered approach to care, where we treat people with kindness, compassion and respect. We strive to accommodate community members’ personal choices, while supporting their care needs.
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