After conducting a month-long study with several hundred Canadian tweens, researchers have arrived at the conclusion that permeates every after-school special you've ever been bored enough to watch: being nice makes people like you.
To investigate how kindness affects kids' happiness and social standing, researchers organized a controlled study with 415 9-11 year-olds in Vancouver, British Columbia:
At the beginning and end of the four-week period, the students rated their happiness and life satisfaction in written surveys, and also recorded the names of peers they “would like to be in school activities [i.e., spend time] with."
The researchers found that kids in both groups received more peer nominations at then end of the study than at the beginning, but, while students in the place-visiting group had an average of .7 more friends (peer nominations) at the end, students in the do-gooder group earned an average of 1.5 friends throughout of the study.
There are, of course, lots of reasons to be kind, and now we have one more: the data support it.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.