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World Kindness Day Through a Behavioral Lens

World Kindness Day is November 13th and has been celebrated in many countries around the world since 1998. World Kindness Day was developed to promote good deeds in communities and focus on how kindness binds us together. Around the world are efforts to encourage “random acts of kindness” for others and acting in a more kind way.

We decided to look at kindness in general through a behavioral science lens.

Webster’s definition of “kind” is “of a sympathetic or helpful nature; being gentle.” In other words, kindness is basically doing something nice for someone. A Mother Jones article about World Kindness Day, by Daniel King, states, “Don’t worry, kindness is not niceness,” so we looked at how the University of Santa Clara differentiates between KIND and NICE.

They used an example of how holding the door for others can be described as either “nice” or “kind.”  If the underlying motivation is to create a favorable impression for the purpose of asking for a favor later, then the action can be considered NICE due to its pleasing effect.

On the other hand, if the motivation is to spare the other person from extra effort or inconvenience, then the action can be considered KIND (as well as nice) if it pleases the other person.

We encourage each and every one of you around the world today to show some act of kindness to a loved one, friend or stranger. And we hope you enjoy this episode.

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves

AIRDATE: November 13, 2020 EPISODE 186

World Kindness Day Through a Behavioral Lens

Featured Guest

Kurt Nelson, PhD & Tim Houlihan