How Acts of Kindness Define Us: New Study Delves into the Minds of Good Samaritans

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A recent study by PsychTests.com reveals that people who commit small acts of kindness are not just empathetic - they are also more likely to be resilient, good at resolving conflict, and have high self-esteem.

The root of a selfless act is more than just a generous heart.

Aside from being kind, Good Samaritans are also open-minded, insightful, adaptable, and psychologically hardy.

When you commit a truly selfless act, it says a lot about your character.

People filming themselves doing good deeds has redefined the definition of “selfless act” and turned the sweet taste of compassion bittersweet. However, opportunists, influencers, and 15-minutes-of-famers aside, there are plenty of good things to say about people who commit small but genuine acts of kindness. A recent study conducted by PsychTests.com reveals that good Samaritans have more in common than just a generous spirit.

Analyzing data collected from 12,259 people who took the Emotional Intelligence Test, PsychTests’ researchers compared the personality of people based on the frequency at which they commit small acts of kindness, such as giving a person the right of way in traffic or letting someone pass ahead in a line, holding a door/elevator open, giving a stranger directions, helping someone cross a street, or giving a homeless person money or food. The groups were labeled as “Good Samaritans” (people who regularly do kind deeds), “Occasional Samaritans” (people who occasionally do kind deeds), and “Non-Samaritans” (people who almost never do kind deeds). Here’s what they study revealed:

(Note: Scores range on a scale from 0 to 100)

GOOD SAMARITANS ARE IN TOUCH WITH THEIR EMOTIONS
> Score for Good Samaritans: 70
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 63
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 51

GOOD SAMARITANS ARE GOOD AT INTERACTING WITH DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE, AND IN DIFFERENT SOCIAL SITUATIONS
> Score for Good Samaritans: 71
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 64
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 48

GOOD SAMARITANS ARE GOOD AT COPING WITH STRESS
> Score for Good Samaritans: 72
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 66
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 53

GOOD SAMARITANS ARE RESILIENT
> Score for Good Samaritans: 76
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 67
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 56

GOOD SAMARITANS HAVE FAIRLY STRONG SELF-ESTEEM
> Score for Good Samaritans: 72
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 65
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 52

ALTHOUGH THEY HAVE HAD THEIR FAIR SHARE OF UPS AND DOWNS, GOOD SAMARITANS ARE REASONABLY HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES
> Score for Good Samaritans: 65
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 59
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 52

GOOD SAMARITANS AND OCCASIONAL SAMARITANS ARE GOOD AT LETTING GO OF MINOR ANNOYANCES
> Score for Good Samaritans: 84
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 80
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 60

GOOD SAMARITANS AND OCCASIONAL SAMARITANS ARE FAIRLY SKILLED AT RESOLVING CONFLICT
> Score for Good Samaritans: 74
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 70
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 49

GOOD SAMARITANS AND OCCASIONAL SAMARITANS HAVE A KEEN UNDERSTANDING OF HUMAN NATURE
> Score for Good Samaritans: 78
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 78
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 61

GOOD SAMARITANS AND OCCASIONAL SAMARITANS ARE EMPATHETIC
> Score for Good Samaritans: 76
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 75
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 63

GOOD SAMARITANS AND OCCASIONAL SAMARITANS ARE GOOD AT READING BODY LANGUAGE
> Score for Good Samaritans: 79
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 79
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 69

GOOD SAMARITANS AND OCCASIONAL SAMARITANS TEND TO BE OPEN-MINDED
> Score for Good Samaritans: 76
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 72
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 58

GOOD SAMARITANS AND OCCASIONAL SAMARITANS MAKE SELF-IMPROVEMENT A PRIORITY
> Score for Good Samaritans: 81
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 75
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 57

GOOD SAMARITANS AND OCCASIONAL SAMARITANS ARE REALISTIC OPTIMISTS - THEY PREPARE FOR THE WORST BUT REMAIN HOPEFUL
> Score for Good Samaritans: 69
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 61
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 49

GOOD SAMARITANS AND OCCASIONAL SAMARITANS HAVE A CLEAR SET OF VALUES - AND ARE WILLING TO STAND BY THOSE VALUES
> Score for Good Samaritans: 78
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 72
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 58

N0N-SAMARITANS POSSESS AT LEAST A FEW MACHIAVELLIAN TRAITS
> Score for Good Samaritans: 37
> Score for Occasional Samaritans: 42
> Score for Non-Samaritans: 50

“When you commit a selfless act, a truly selfless act, it says a lot about your character,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “Real Samaritans don’t do acts of kindness for recognition or because they want something in return - they do it because they feel it’s the right thing to do; because it’s the human thing to do. And as we have seen in our study, generosity tends to strongly correlate with other beneficial traits, such as open-mindedness, strong self-image, keen social skills, and even mental toughness…so for those who think that being kind and compassionate is a weakness, our study says otherwise. Moreover, our study, like others, indicates that small acts of kindness don’t just serve the recipient, they can also benefit the giver. It can improve self-esteem, sense of well-being, mood, psychological and physical health, and life satisfaction. And you don’t have to be a philanthropist in order to enjoy these benefits - our Occasional Samaritans prove that even random acts of kindness can have a big impact.”

Want to assess your EQ? Check out our Emotional Intelligence Test at https://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3979

Professional users, such as HR managers, coaches, and therapists, can request a free demo for this or other assessments from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/testdrive_gen_1

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/personality-tests-in-hr

About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists and coaches, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com).

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Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D
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