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you underestimate kindness

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In an overwhelming world, small acts of kindness can seem to mean little. In a world where bad things happen every day, how much do small actions matter?

After all, the impact of small acts of kindness in terms of how the recipient feels and is willing to pay for that kindness is far more powerful than we realize. Recent research Published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: In general, researchers conducted a series of experiments Test how much some of these small acts of kindness mean to the people who receive them, and how likely they are to pay the kindness upfront.

The answer is that, after all, our acts of kindness have a far greater impact on others than we realize. Even though it looks like it is very important.

People always underestimate the impact of their kindness

In the first experiment, researchers recruited 84 people in a Chicago park and gave them the option of receiving a hot chocolate or giving it to a stranger.Seventy-five One of them decides to give hot chocolate to another. When I asked the person who received the hot chocolate as a gift, he said that it was very warm and happy. For givers, when asked to rate how the recipient would feel, they consistently underestimated the impact it would have.

“Those who perform acts of kindness can miss the fact that simply engaging in acts of warmth and kindness can mean more to the recipient than what they give. I have. Amit KumarAssistant Professor of Marketing and Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, and one of the authors of the paper.

In a second experiment, researchers tested whether receiving a cupcake as an act of kindness made them feel happier than simply receiving a cupcake. reported feeling happier than simply receiving a cupcake from the researchers.

“People systematically underestimated how positive recipients felt after random acts of kindness,” Kumar said. We know that cupcakes are something people like, and that getting them is a positive thing, but the lack of predictors means that receiving an act of kindness The pattern suggests it’s this extra warmth that comes from being by your side.”

People are more likely to prepay kindness than we think

In a third experiment, researchers tested whether being on the receiving end of an act of kindness would motivate people to pass it on. was given. I asked for it to be split with another, but was given discretion as to what the split was.

On average, people who received a gift card as an act of kindness were much more likely to pay that kindness by splitting the $100 evenly, as opposed to those who were simply given the gift card. “It turns out generosity can be contagious at times,” Kumar said. I was.

“These misaligned expectations can be important for givers because they create misplaced psychological barriers to engaging in these behaviors more frequently in their daily lives,” Kumar said. “If you know you’re making a more positive impact, you’re more likely to take this action, but if you think you’re making a little impact, you’re probably less likely to take this action.” will be lower.”

you underestimate kindness

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