An unexpected rebound in giving in the US so soon after the recession is attributed to a healthier economy. But one study finds other, less material motives for generosity. Read More
The lecture was delivered by Smith, principal investigator of the Science of Generosity Initiative, on April 22, 2015 and was sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University.
Notre Dame professor finds that ungenerous Americans do not think of giving as a moral obligation
The most generous people don't have the biggest bank accounts. But they are rich in other ways.
This isn't a faith-based assessment. It's science, according to a University of Notre Dame professor.
Generous people are happier and healthier. They have a greater sense of purpose and emotional well-being. But are they happier because they give, or do they give because they're happier?
Both, says Christian Smith, co-author of "The Paradox of Generosity" with Hilary Davidson. He will speak Thursday at the Thomas H. Lake Lecture at the Indiana History Center.
It’s one of my favorite Darwin quotes—"He who understands baboon would do more toward metaphysics than Locke"—scribbled furtively in a notebook between visits to the London Zoo in the summer of 1838. Twenty-one years would pass before On the Origin of Species would shock the world, but Darwin already knew: If man wanted to comprehend his mind, he’d need to train an unflustered gaze into the deep caverns of his animal past. Read More
America has a generosity problem. Despite our relative wealth and voluntarist spirit, the majority of us clutch tightly to our pocketbooks and schedules. According to our data collected with the Science of Generosity survey, only 3 percent of American adults give away 10 percent or more of their income. This number is calculated by dividing the amount respondents reported giving away by their reported total salary. Read More
For most of his life, Christian Smith didn’t donate much to charity. The sociologist at the University of Notre Dame knew he had the means to give and knew that he should. But there was a psychological hurdle standing in his way, what Mr. Smith calls a "comfortable guilt." Read More
Empirical evidence suggests that being generous and sacrificing will ultimately bring us more rewards in return. Yet, most Americans don’t practice generosity, according to Joy Cardin’s guest this hour. William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology, Christian Smith explains the “paradox of generosity” and what it means for ourselves and society. Listen Read More
Here's one of the great paradoxes of the human race: People who have almost no material possessions -- the world's extreme poor -- can be among the wealthiest in life. Read More
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