News

Giving Makes Us Happy. So Why Do So Few Do It?

Author: Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson

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

If Giving Makes People Happy, Authors Ask, Why Not Give More?

Author: Avi Wolfman-Arent

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

Wisconsin Public Radio: The Paradox of Generosity

Author: Joy Cardin and Christian Smith

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

Notre Dame Sociologists Explore Paradox of Generosity

Author: Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson

For most religious believers, it is an article of faith that it is more blessed to give than to receive. For at least two University of Notre Dame sociologists, it is an article of fact as well. In their recently published book, “The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose,” Christian Smith, Notre Dame’s William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology, and sociology doctoral candidate Hilary Davidson provide empirical evidence in support of the biblical admonition. Read More

Faith's Paradox: Lose Your Soul to Find It

Author: Richard Stearns

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

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