Want to Be Happy? Stop Being So Cheap!

Author: Jordan Michael Smith and Christian Smith

Start giving your money and time away: New research shows you’ll be happier for it. Americans who describe themselves as “very happy” volunteer an average of 5.8 hours per month. Those who are “unhappy”? Just 0.6 hours. This is just one of the findings in The Paradox of Generosity, a new book by sociologists Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson Read More

Why It's Not a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Author: Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson

Generosity often conjures images of financial or material giving, but that’s hardly its only form. Volunteering time and talent, even spending time with neighbors and family, is just as generous. It’s a form of giving with no inherent financial obligation, but like financial giving, it carries benefits for the giver, not just the receiver. Is there any more symbiotic form of giving that genuinely enjoying another person’s company? Read More

Are Americans a Stingy Lot of People?

Author: Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson

Building on five years of research, which included a survey of more than 2,000 Americans and select in-depth interviews across the country, Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith and Ph.D. candidate Hilary Davidson take a closer look at the paradox of generosity in their book of the same name, which goes on sale this week. Read More

What Makes us Generous?

Author: Christian Smith

Why are people generous? Why are some humans much more generous than others? What factors tend to promote or inhibit generosity? It turns out that generosity makes a big difference in the quality of human personal and social life, both for the givers and receivers. So the better we understand it, the better we will be able to think about and practice it, toward greater human flourishing. Read More

The Really Big Questions: Why Do We Share?

Author: Dean Olsher

On this episode of The Really Big Questions, host Dean Olsher explores how humans may have been shaped by evolution to naturally share, donate and cooperate. On this episode of The Really Big Questions, host Dean Olsher explores how humans may have been shaped by evolution to naturally share, donate and cooperate. Read More

The Science of "Paying it Forward"

Author: Milena Zvetkova

One morning in December of 2012, at the drive-through window of a Tim Hortons coffee shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a customer paid for her order and then picked up the tab for the stranger in the car behind her in line. Then that customer paid the bill for the following customer in line — and so on, for the next 226 customers, in a three-hour sequence of spontaneous generosity. Read More

Generosity Amid Want

Author: Bina Shah

In Pakistan, poverty is not sanitized; it’s on full display. What helps save the society is a culture of giving, interwoven into the fabric of how people live and worship. The World Giving Index for 2013, compiled by the Charities Aid Foundation from Gallup polling data, reported that 38 percent of all Pakistanis donated money to charity in 2012, and that 51 percent found some way to help a stranger. For those Pakistanis with money to donate, it’s nearly impossible to decide which cause is most deserving; after all, the great mass of the population could be labeled “less fortunate.” It’s also hard to know whom to trust. Read More

Seven Science-Backed Reasons Generosity is Good for Your Health

Author: Amanda Chan

Giving of yourself -- whether it be your time, energy or money -- isn't just a boon to those you're helping. A wealth of research shows that generosity can also have benefits for the receiver, ranging from a better outlook at your job, to more years of life. Check out these science-backed reasons to make generosity a regular part of your day. Read More

Scientists Are Finding That We Are Hard-Wired for Giving

Author: Elizabeth Svoboda

The Darwinian principle of "survival of the fittest" echoes what many people believe about life: To get ahead, you need to look out for No. 1. But the latest science shows that, in fact, we are also hard-wired to be generous. Read More