This quiz is backed by science and will reveal your kindness profile.

Considering how much discord we see on a daily basis, it might be hard to believe that humans are inherently compassionate creatures.

Of course we have self-centered inclinations, but if you look at human nature before it’s impacted by the outside world, you’ll see that our impulse is often to be altruistic.

Back in 2006, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany studied infants to see what they would do when they were confronted with adults who needed help completing basic tasks. In almost every instance, the infants would offer what assistance they could to the struggling adults. For example, if the adult dropped a clothespin when hanging clothes on a line, the infant would almost always pick it up and hand it back to them.


Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem/Unsplash

This helpful behavior can also be seen in young chimpanzees, but not nearly as readily or as consistently as in human babies. This suggests that altruism is a more human trait.

But it’s not just a cool part of being human – our inclination to be kind and selfless often benefits us directly in return.

And that’s not only according to one little study — evidence of the mental and physical benefits of altruism have been seen across a wide spectrum of scientific disciplines. Take it from science educator and creator of the PBS series BrainCraft, Vanessa Hill.

“I was always fascinated with why people act the way that they do,” says Hill.

Before becoming a science show host, Hill studied psychology and biology at the University of South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and worked in science education and outreach at Australia’s national science agency.

She decided to start making her own science education videos because she wanted to help a wider audience “understand things about themselves that they never realized before.” Her mission dovetailed nicely with PBS, so they worked together to create BrainCraft, which is now in its fourth season.

Photo via Vanessa Hill. Used with permission.

Having done her own deep dive into the science of altruism, Hill found that we actually have a system built into our brain that recognizes when we do something selfless.

“Neuroscientists have identified circuits in the brain that underlie altruistic behavior,” she explains. “When we’re kind, we have a brain circuitry that rewards that.”

So the more we perform altruistic acts, the more often we get a boost of happiness — or oxytocin as scientists might call it —and the better we feel in both mind and body.

Sounds pretty great, right?

What’s more, kids will likely stick with kind behavior if it’s encouraged from an early age. However, their unique personalities will dictate how it manifests in them.

Believe it or not, there are actually several different types of altruism that humans exhibit.

There’s pure altruism, which is giving solely for the benefit of others without expecting anything in return. There’s pseudo-altruism, which is giving with the expectation of getting something back (even if you’re not doing it consciously). There’s egoism, which is doing good things for yourself (like self-care). And there’s nurturing altruism, which means doing kind things with the goal of inspiring others to pay it forward.

Think you know which type you are? Take our sweetness quiz to find out!

More
True
Truvia
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

For most of us, the hypothetical question of whether we would stick with a boyfriend or girlfriend through the trials of cancer and the treatments is just that – a hypothetical question. We would like to think we would do the right thing, but when Max Allegretti got the chance to put his money where mouth is, he didn't hesitate for a second.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular