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
With new insights into the classical game theory match-up known as the “Prisoner’s Dilemma,” University of Pennsylvania biologists offer a mathematically based explanation for why cooperation and generosity have evolved in nature.
Their work builds upon the seminal findings of economist John Nash, who advanced the field of game theory in the 1950s, as well as those of computational biologist William Press and physicist-mathematician Freeman Dyson, who last year identified a new class of strategies for succeeding in the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Read More
The nation's first school of philanthropy will now carry a name long associated with extraordinary generosity in America: Lilly. It will be named the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at an inauguration ceremony this afternoon on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. Read More
Most parents would agree that raising a generous child is an admirable goal — but how, exactly, is that accomplished? New results from the University of Notre Dame’s Science of Generosity initiative, which funds generosity research around the world, sheds light on how generosity and related behaviors — such as kindness, caring and empathy — develop, or don’t develop, in children from 2 years old through adolescence. Read More
Why are some people seemingly hard-wired for compassion, while others hardly notice suffering? Is generosity the by-product of a virtuous upbringing; a quality we learn primarily through early observation? Or is altruism something we can develop later in life through practice? What do we really know about generosity? Read More
Here we have explored the cognitive underpinnings of cooperation in humans. Our results help to explain the origins of cooperative behaviour, and have implications for the design of institutions that aim to promote cooperation. Read More
Our gut reaction is to give, according to a study published Wednesday by Harvard scientists who teased apart the workings of people’s minds when they’re asked to contribute to the greater good at their own expense. Only upon reflection do we become greedy. Read More
Churchgoers like to think of themselves as generous and cheerful givers, but for many the flesh appears to be weak when it comes to living up to their own standards for charitable giving. Read More
Many people have it in their hearts to be generous, but what motivates their actions?
Generosity is accepted and encouraged as a practice, but the reasons behind the behavior are not well understood. An interdisciplinary team of faculty working with Arizona State University’s Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict are exploring what motivates people to be generous and how religion influences their actions. Read More
Reinforcing that the best things in life are free, a new study from the University of California, Berkeley, shows that online freebie-exchange communities such as “Freecycle” and “Couchsurfing” foster greater team spirit among their members than do cash-for-goods websites. Read More