In a new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Karl Aquino and his team found that after witnessing exceptional altruistic acts, people are more likely to perform charitably themselves.
“They have some sort of emotional reaction—they’re inspired, they feel somewhat awed by the behavior, they may get severe physiological reactions. A lot of these changes can then lead them to try to do good things for others.”
“A lot of the media, when they try to get people to do good, they focus on highlighting the suffering others are experiencing or terrible things people are experiencing,” he says.
“So we suggest an alternative technique may be to highlight examples of extraordinary goodness. They’re rare by definition; they don’t happen every day. But if we could identify these and make them much more prominent, then it could get people to think differently about their lives and about others, which may influence them to do good.”
Via Edwin Rutsch