“[Richard Wiseman] divided his 26,000 [online] respondents – mostly young adults – into five groups. One was a control group. During a 5-day exercise, each of the other groups engaged in one type of upbeat behavior: being kind to others, dwelling on a happy memory, feeling grateful, or smiling.”
And the results over 5 days?
- Control: Half got happier, half didn’t (just as you’d expect of a large random sample)
- Dwelling on a happy memory from yesterday (65% got happier)
- Feeling gratitude (58% got happier)
- Practicing smiling (58% got happier)
- Trying to perform an “act of kindness” (50% got happier, identical to the control group)
So how do these findings map to what we do at GlobalGiving? I assume people get happy when they give to something they care about, which is an “act of kindness.” But just how happy do people get?
My girlfriend pointed out that performing an “act of kindness” is much harder than the others, so maybe fewer people succeeded, and so fewer got happy.
What do you think?
How do you interpret this survey, as it relates to GlobalGiving? Post a comment. Thanks in advance!