Intuitive Generosity

Spontaneity Sparks Altruism




What makes people put “we” ahead of “me”? To find out, a group of Harvard University researchers enrolled thousands of people to play a “public good” game in which subjects were divided into small groups, given some money and the choice to keep it or contribute it to a common pool that would grow and benefit the entire group. Researchers discovered that those that made their decisions quickly were more likely to contribute to the common good.

Taking it a step further, the researchers applied time pressure to the decision-making process. They then found that those faced with making a quick decision most often chose the “we” option, while those that spent more time deliberating ended up giving less money to the group kitty.

The Massachusetts research team, which tested thousands of online worldwide participants, concluded that spontaneity and intuition guide people into rapid acts of kindness.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Eat Right to Sleep Well

Rather than popping a pill, eating certain foods can kick-start hormones that help us get a long, deep night’s sleep.

We Need Clean Waters

Efforts are underway around the country to make polluted waterways clean again and to instill local appreciation for their many helpful roles.

Peter Gros on Preserving Wild Nature

The wildlife expert explains why we should appreciate wolves, snakes and bats and what he finds encouraging about an enlightened focus on wildlife protection.

Running with the Kids

Families with children as young as 5 easily bond when they mindfully run together at a fun pace.

Livable Communities We Love

Across the country, cities from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to Portland are finding fresh new ways to create engaging street life for residents while eco-upgrading their green spaces, services and infrastructure.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags