The Science Behind Generous People

A new study has shown that generous people perform acts of kindness due to the heart literally ‘telling’ you to.

The study was carried out in the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge in collaboration with the Stockholm University in Sweden, and consisted of participants being given scenarios in which they had to choose whether to give certain amounts of money to charity, to if they would rather keep their money to themselves. In addition to this, after the scenarios and experiment seemed to have ended, the experimenter asked if they could help with a questionnaire, without receiving anything in return. All of the participants had their heart rate measured.

From the study it was found that, “participants who were 10 percent better at sensing their own heartbeat gave £5 more than their peers did.” 

As said by Dr. Richard Piech, first author of the study…

“It may be that an emotionally charged situation — such as deciding whether or not to give money away — causes a change in heartbeats. “This bodily change may then bias decision-making towards the generous option in those people who are better at detecting their heartbeats.”


These findings suggest that, in some sense, people ‘listen to their heart’ to guide their selfless behaviors.”


The scientists in charge of the study next hope to find ways of possibly increasing generosity in people, as the scientists reckon that being more in-sync with our body signals will not only make us better people but could potentially have other advantages that are yet to be discovered.

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