'Studies have shown a "causal link where, when people behave in this generous,
kind way, they actually end up happier themselves," said Elizabeth Dunn, a
psychology professor and happiness researcher from the University of British
"Frankly, I find it very reassuring that humans have this sort of baked-in
tendency to experience joy from helping others," she told CBC's The Early
Edition on Friday.
World Kindness Day traces its origins to Tokyo, where it was first introduced
as part of the World Kindness Movement in 1998.
Now, nearly 30 countries around the world, including Canada, are part of the
movement and mark the day in November.
Dunn said her happiness research is conducted by "changing the conditions that
people are facing" and seeing the results.
In one experiment, researchers walked up to randomly selected people on UBC's
campus, gave them either a $5 or $20 bill, and asked them to spend the money by
the end of the day.
Half were told to spend the cash to benefit someone else and the other half
were asked to use the money to benefit themselves.
"At the end of the day, [the subjects] don't really know what the experiment is
about. We just asked them about their day and asked them to rate how happy they
felt," Dunn said.
"What we saw in that experiment is that people felt happier after using this
money to benefit others than after using it to benefit themselves."
Dunn said the study suggests that treating others with kindness is more
effective for promoting our own happiness than treating ourselves.'
Via Esther Schindler.
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*** Xanni ***
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