Study: People Think They’re Nicer Than They Actually Are

(CBS) – How nice would you say you are?

A British research company, i2 Media Research conducted a study “exploring the relationship between participant ratings of how ‘nice’ they are, their behaviour, and their reported levels of health, happiness and success.”

The study found 98 percent of people rate themselves in the top half of pleasant people, but most people are not as ‘nice’ as they believe to be.

First the study had to define the word ‘nice.’

“‘Nice’ is used in common parlance and well understood, when used to describe a person it is by
definition not very specific. A key goal of this study therefore was to describe nice in terms of better defined, validated psychological measures and scales. Specifically, we explored how participants’ ratings of how ‘nice’ they consider themselves to be are related to their emotional intelligence, their agreeableness, their empathy, and self-ratings of altruism, compassion, trust and consideration,” the study’s report stated.

In addition to answering questions about how nice, healthy, happy and stressed they felt, participants were graded on their emotional intelligence and asked how often they helped others. CBS 3 Philly reports.

While most held doors, offered directions and gave up their seat, far fewer folks regularly donated blood, helped someone cross a road or gave money to a stranger.

Rudeness, losing important items and bad customer service were most likely to kill our kindness.

“When something’s not going right in your life, you don’t feel like being nice to people,” said Yaniv Shmuklur of Indianapolis.

So, why are we so quick to give ourselves credit, yet deny others the benefit of the doubt?

“I think we don’t put ourselves in other people’s shoes enough, so I think we don’t give them enough credit for how well they’re doing for their life in their circumstances,” said Sheridan Smith.

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