Author Archives: science-of-generosity

The generous marriage

New York Times reporter Tara Parker-Pope just did a story on some Science of Generosity research conducted by Brad Wilcox, who is finding that generosity is an integral part of a happy marriage. The whole story is here.

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Wall Street Journal story on generosity research

Pulitzer prize winning Wall Street Journal reporter Kevin Helliker recently did a story about early results from Ariel Knafo’s project, “The Family Cycle of Kindness and Generosity.” Knafo and his group discovered a genetic idiosyncrasy in young children that is … Continue reading

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How cooperation spreads in social networks

In a paper recently published in the PNAS, Sci Gen researchers Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler found that members of social networks are influenced by fellow group members’ contribution behavior in future interactions with others who were not involved in … Continue reading

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What causes parents to transmit generosity?

In October co-Investigator Ye Zhang presented the paper “What Motives Cause Parents to Transmit Generosity?” (co-authored with Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm) at the Conference on the Economics of the Family in Paris.  The conference, hosted by the Institut National d’Etudes démographiques, the … Continue reading

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How good is good enough?

OK… So What Now? is a series of first person investigations into the moral and ethical challenges of leading an examined life. Each episode centers around one dilemma from our modern life, and features interviews with guests who have some … Continue reading

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Being happy at work

We’ve recently been taking a more detailed look at our pilot study data and tried to identify the behavioral consequences of practicing positive activities at work. According to some preliminary analysis two interesting relationships seem to be have emerging. First, … Continue reading

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How one sociologist developed an interest in generosity

For most of my career, I never thought about generosity as interesting to study, except perhaps as one component of broader “prosocial” outcome measures. Regarding financial giving, for instance, issues around charitable donations, philanthropy, and non-profit budgets always struck me … Continue reading

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Doing good, one network at a time

How we are connected affects the properties of an entire society, generally for good.  This aspect of network science is what got us excited about the field in the first place.  Working in areas such as collaboration, innovation, and health, … Continue reading

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Does marital generosity flow outward?

My interest in the relationship between generosity in marriage and generosity outside of marriage was first stimulated by the graduate work of Young Kim, who recently received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Virginia. Based upon his life … Continue reading

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The evolutionary roots of human generosity

One of the most important issues in research on generosity and other prosocial behaviors is to determine the similarities and differences between humans and other animals: What aspects are actually unique to humans and what aspects have deeper evolutionary roots? … Continue reading

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