One study says there are 4 types of people. 2 of them might screw you over. Which are you?

How much do you really trust people?

That's what scientists in Spain wanted to find out. So they staked out a festival in Barcelona and recruited about 500 volunteers to play a little carnival game for fun, prizes, and, you know, advancing our knowledge of human psychology.

Step right up! Step right up and learn whether you can trust your friends! Photo from iStock.


The games were all variations of the prisoner's dilemma.

What's the prisoner's dilemma? I'll explain. (You can read this section in a gangster-y detective voice if you want).

Image from iStock.

It's a famous thought experiment that helps us figure out how people manage trust, risk, and temptation while making decisions, see? If you're being traditional, what you do is get two wise guys, separate the lugs, and tell 'em that they're both under arrest. But you're a nice guy, and you've really got their best interests at heart, so you'll cut 'em a deal: If they rat on their buddy, they go free.

But here's the twist, if they both rat, both go to the slammer. Of course, they could both clam up, in which case you can't do much. Maybe give 'em a little time in the clink, but that's about it.

Imagine that you were the prisoner: Do you trust your friend and clam up so you're both safe from prison?

Or do you think you can play 'em by turning them in and getting yourself a better deal? (You can stop the gangster voice now. Or don't. It's a free country.)

This kind of game also happens on reality TV all the time when partners have to decide whether they want to split the money or take it all. And you can tweak the game by changing how big the rewards and punishments are, too.

In the case of the Spanish study, the scientists made the volunteers play a few different games with different setups.

Instead of trying to place people's reactions in pre-existing categories, the scientists in this study gathered everyone's results, then let a computer group the people together as best it could.

This is what it found:

First, there were the optimists. These people will work together whenever the everyone-works-together option is most rewarding. They seem to believe that when the payoff's obvious, everyone will work for it.

Then, there were the pessimists. These people always expect to get screwed over and will only try to cooperate when they'll benefit anyway.

Thirdly, there were the trusting people. They'll always cooperate, whether it makes sense or not. Bless their (naive) little hearts.

Finally, we get the envious people. Envious players don't really seem to care what the outcome is, as long as they're getting more.

There were roughly the same number of optimists, pessimists, and trusting people — about 20% of the group each. Envious was a bit more, at about 30%. There was also a mysterious fifth category, which the computer couldn't classify.

Living in a world of envious people might seem like a downer, but we can actually do a little scientific jujitsu on this and turn it into something awesome.

That's because this experiment is part of game theory, a branch of mathematics that studies how people make decisions, which carries important consequences in designing things like laws, political systems, or jobs.

While we like to assume people will always act rationally, this study suggests that people think with their gut as much as their brains. And knowing more about people's motivations means we can add new little incentives to big projects that affect lots of people. Maybe that new anti-poverty law needs a little bonus for the rich to appease envious players, for example — or maybe it needs a fail-safe to keep the pessimists happy.

By understanding what motivates people, we can motivate people to do good in the world.

As for what the mysterious fifth category is, maybe it's this guy:

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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.