Is there something about karma that makes it appealing to individuals in specific moments of their lives? A new study by Benjamin Converse, Jane Risen, and Travis Carter suggests that there is. In a series of experiments they found evidence to support the idea that when people face an important outcome that’s out of their control, they believe that being charitable can somehow induce a positive outcome.
"A polite act shows respect. But a [...] study of a common etiquette -- holding a door for someone -- suggests that courtesy may have a more practical, though unconscious, shared motivation: to reduce the work for those involved."