Author Archives: science-of-generosity

How one economist began to study generosity

How I got interested in generosity and why I stay interested are two different stories.  I took up economics because I wanted to work on income inequality, thinking that inheritances are an important factor that make inequality bigger.  Surprisingly, Gary … Continue reading

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Challenging the assumptions of conventional economics

I’m an economist who entertains a broad palette of possible tastes and motives in the people I study. Some of these tastes and motives come from psychological, some from sociology, some from linguistics, and some just from approaching the world … Continue reading

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Generosity and the physiology of maternal care

I first became interested in the science of generosity while I was working with Robert Cialdini as a second year graduate student. Dr. Cialdini was involved in a debate with Daniel Batson about whether altruism exists, and Dr. Cialdini came … Continue reading

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The socioeconomic foundations of generosity in Britain

My interest in generosity came about from my research on social mobility, ethnic integration and social capital in British society. I found a lot of studies on specific aspects of generosity, but no systematic analysis on the interrelationship between people’s … Continue reading

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From social problems to social goods

Back when I was in graduate school, I was having trouble picking my dissertation topic. Coming from the typical sociology “social problems” perspective, I could not decide which social problem was important enough to study exclusively. One day I started … Continue reading

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Inspired to do generosity research

Our lab first became interested in generosity as an outgrowth of the research we do on positive activity interventions (PAIs), such as counting blessings, practicing optimism, putting one’s strengths into practice, writing letters of gratitude, and performing acts of kindness. … Continue reading

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A researcher’s interest in child generosity

My first research project was about the development of values―how (and whether) values are transmitted from one generation to the other. My dissertation advisor, Shalom Schwartz, suggested that we add to the study measures of adolescent behaviors, to exemplify the … Continue reading

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Attachment formation and the foundations of personal generosity

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How one research group got interested in generosity research

Our interest in generosity was sparked by our earlier research in Kolkata, India, where we found that micro-finance group meetings seemed to affect household outcomes through social as well as financial channels . This got us thinking about the various … Continue reading

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Generosity, Islam and Catholicism

I became interested in generosity while studying efforts of Muslim groups in some Western European countries to obtain permission for Islamic burials in public cemeteries, and to obtain permission to build full service community mosques. I wondered to what extent … Continue reading

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