Promoting, sharing and uniting kindness
Global Research

Super Paper by Kent University: January 2020

Much kindness synergetic and insightful work in a fascinating paper by University of Kent and Christ Church University of Canterbury.

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The Warm Glow Of Kindness Is Real – Sussex Study Confirms

  • The ‘warm glow’ of kindness is real – even when there’s nothing in it for you
  • We feel the benefit of kind acts regardless of whether they are altruistic or strategically motivated
  • This raises questions for charities and governments about whether to encourage good behaviour by appealing to our warm glow or by the promise of a return on investment.

Psychologists at the University of Sussex have confirmed that the warm glow of kindness is real, even when there’s nothing in it for you. In their study, published in NeuroImage, they undertook a major analysis of existing research showing the brain scans relating to over 1000 people making kind decisions. For the first time, they split the analysis between what happens in the brain when people act out of genuine altruism – where there’s nothing in it for them – and when they act with strategic kindness – when there is something to be gained as a consequence.

Many individual studies have hinted that generosity activates the reward network of the brain but this new study from Sussex is the first that brought these studies together, and then split the results into two types of kindness – altruistic and strategic. The Sussex scientists found that reward areas of the brain are more active – i.e. use up more oxygen – when people act with strategic kindness, when there is an opportunity for others to return the favour. 

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The Importance of Kindness

Being kind can strengthen your relationships and sense of satisfaction in life.

Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Affection, gentleness, warmth, concern, and care are words that are associated with kindness. While kindness has a connotation of meaning someone is naive or weak, that is not the case. Being kind often requires courage and strength. Kindness is an interpersonal skill.

You've heard about survival of the fittest and Darwin. Survival of the fittest is usually associated with selfishness, meaning that to survive (a basic instinct) means to look out for yourself. But Darwin, who studied human evolution, actually didn't see mankind as being biologically competitive and self-interested. Darwin believed that we are a profoundly social and caring species. He argued that sympathy and caring for others is instinctual (DiSalvo, Scientific American, 2017)

Current research supports this idea. Science has now shown that devoting resources to others, rather than having more and more for yourself, brings about lasting well-being. Kindness has been found by researchers to be the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage. Many colleges, including Harvard, are now emphasizing kindness on applications for admission.

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The Place Of Kindness - Combating Loneliness And Building Stronger Communities

With isolation and loneliness recognised as major challenges, and widening inequalities and social polarisation, now is the time to be focusing on kindness. A focus on our responsibilities and abilities as individuals and our power to make a difference.

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Science Says 'Random Acts of Kindness' Week Has Astonishing Health Benefits

The global phenomenon that is Random Acts of Kindness week is upon us: February 12-18, 2017.

We as co-workers -- nay, citizens -- get to extend hands and open our hearts to participate in wonderfully arbitrary acts of kindness all week long.

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10 Ways a Little Kindness Can Change Your Life

A recent article published by Time magazine claims kindness can change your life.

The article lists 10 reasons from kind music to being selfless as ways kindness can impact and change a person’s life.

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Psychosocial Research Unit Studies Effect Of Acts of Kindliness

A study compiled by the Psychosocial Research Unit at the University of Central Lancashire and red consultancy looking at how informal helping, or the giving and receiving of acts of kindliness, works in the semi-rural West Yorkshire community of Hebden Bridge. It also explores how this can be fostered in other communities.

Prosocial Spending and Well-Being: Cross-Cultural Evidence for a Psychological Universal

In highlighting the potential universality of emotional benefits stemming from prosocial spending, this paper adds to the chorus of recent interdisciplinary research on the importance of generosity for human well-being.

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Additional paper:

Prosocial Spending and Happiness: Using Money to Benefit Others Pays Off

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Taskforce For Humanity Coalition - Kindness & Health

Scientific research has found convincing evidence supporting findings that being kind offers significant health benefits, both physically and mentally.

The Science of Kindness

Our friends at Life Vest Inside have published this new video demonstrating the scientific impact of kindness.

The biology of kindness: How it makes us happier and healthier

Researchers at the University of North Carolina have published new research concluding that being a good friend, and being compassionate towards others, may be one of the best ways to improve your own health.

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Singapore Kindness Movement – Did You Know? A Matter of Fact

Want to know the facts behind why being kind makes you feel good? Our fantastic friends at the Singapore Kindness Movement have produced this great video to highlight all the scientific benefits of kindness.

Whiff of ‘Love Hormone’ Helps Monkeys Show a Little Kindness

A study led by neuroscientist Michael Platt at Duke University discovered that administering the hormone Oxytocin nasally...

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Dr David Hamilton’s 5 side effects of Kindness – 30th May 2011

Scientist and author of ‘Why Kindness is Good For You’ and ‘The Contagious Power of Thinking: How You Thoughts Can Influence the World’ (amongst other titles) Dr David Hamilton lays out the scientific facts about the positive side effects of kindness.

Side effects include a healthier heart and slowing of the aging process.

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