View Full Version : Study shows unselfish people have more children and earn more money

Thursday, October 25th, 2018, 09:36 PM
What happens to those who behave unselfishly and make sacrifices for the sake of others?

According to an interdisciplinary study by researchers from Stockholm University, the Institute for Futures Studies and the University of South Carolina, unselfish people tend both to have more children and to receive higher salaries, in comparison to more selfish people. The results have now been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

“The result is clear in both the American and the European data. The most unselfish people have the most children and the moderately unselfish receive the highest salaries. And we also find this result over time – the people who are most generous at one point in time have the largest salary increases when researchers revisit them later in time,” says Kimmo Eriksson, researcher at the Centre for Cultural Evolution at Stockholm University and one of the authors of the study.

The result is contrary to theories that selfish people manage to get their hands on more money through their selfishness, as suggested in previous research.

Economical and evolutionary perspective
Previous psychological and sociological research has shown that unselfish people are happier and have better social relationships. The study “Generosity pays: Selfish people have fewer children and earn less money” focuses on unselfishness from an economical and evolutionary perspective.

In this collaboration with the Institute for Futures Studies and the University of South Carolina, researchers at Stockholm University have looked at how selfishness relates to income and fertility. Selfishness was measured partly through attitudes and partly through reported behaviors.* The results are based on analyses of four major studies of Americans and Europeans.

“In a separate study, we examined the expectations of ordinary people to see if their expectations aligned with our data. The results of this study showed that people generally have the correct expectation that selfish people have fewer children, but erroneously believe that selfish people will make more money. It is nice to see that generosity so often pays off in the long run,” says Pontus Strimling, a researcher at the Institute for Futures Studies, who is also one of the authors behind the study.

Social relationships may be the key
The authors themselves believe that improved social relationships may be the key to generous peoples’ success from an economic perspective, but note that their research does not definitely answer this question.

“Future research will have to delve deeper into the reasons why generous people earn more, and look at whether the link between unselfishness, higher salaries and more children also exists in other parts of the world. And it is of course debatable how unselfish it really is to have more children,” says co-author Brent Simpson of University of South Carolina.

*Unselfishness is defined in the study as the desire to help others because you care about their welfare. Therefore, attitudes concern how important a person thinks it is to help others and care about their welfare. The behaviors concerned how often and how much the person engaged in various help behaviours, e.g. giving money or their time to help others.


Uwe Jens Lornsen
Thursday, October 25th, 2018, 10:16 PM
I don't trust that study .

There are many jobs created by spin offs of University projects .

These Spun-Off companies created their product by taxpayer's money ,
and sell licenses of their produce , even if the product is not material ,
but some kind of gender or minority carreer position somewhere .

It is easy to spend other people's money .

Unselfishness personally has not brought me anywhere ;
unselfishness had been a life's experience , nothing more .

It also depends on the percentage of unselfishness .
Unselfish people might give to foreign countries ,
but refuse to acknowlegde the problems next door .

It is kind of "flight from reality" , similar to Sience Fiction, Fantasy and Religion .

Friday, October 26th, 2018, 03:18 AM
Hmm, $11.95 to read the original publication itself. So I am not going to bother with that. So no way of checking how they ensured honesty/accuracy in reporting peoples generosity levels. Since those with anti-social disorder might just as well lie about this, or are engaging in enlightened self interest. And of course the most important, do they provide enough enough information to replicate said studies to see if the same results are produced. Since a few years ago it was discovered that an overwhelming amount of studies and experiments in psychology and the social sciences could not be replicated. With at least some researchers admitting that they forged data or left out data that did not fit their desired results.