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Climate Group 'Awestruck' by Mystery $10M Donation

The money went to Giving Green, a philanthropic organization that gives money to nonprofits

(Newser) - On a Friday morning in April, Dan Stein, the founder of Giving Green, a climate philanthropy organization, found some big news in a surprising email. An anonymous donor had given his fund $10 million. "I didn't quite process the number of zeros," Stein said, adding he was...

Study Finds Surprising Trait of Parrots: Kindness
A Parrot Experiment
Surprises Researchers

A Parrot Experiment Surprises Researchers

African greys selflessly help other birds

(Newser) - Parrots help their friends, even when there's no chance of personal benefit, according to a study suggesting altruism is more common than thought in the animal kingdom. Indeed, African grey parrots were found to voluntarily help a neighbor get a food reward even as they went without. The behavior...

Lost Your Wallet? Pray That It Had Lots of Cash Inside

The more money in a 'lost wallet,' the more likely that people would return it, researchers found

(Newser) - If you recently found a cash-filled wallet belonging to Brett Miller, Connor Baker, or Brad O'Brien and made the effort to return it, you may have helped researchers restore a collective faith in mankind. The New York Times reports on a new study in the journal Science that tried...

The Man Who Cracked the Code of Altruism Killed Himself

The fascinating story of George Price

(Newser) - If you've heard the name George Price, it's likely in relation to his fame for having produced in the late 1960s an equation to explain altruism. For the record, this is the final version: (wΔz=Cov(wi,zi)+E(wi,zi). Complicated, yes. In fact, "the Price equation is the...

Study: Religion Makes Children Less Generous

Some kids just really don't want to share their stickers

(Newser) - Religion makes people more generous and empathetic toward their neighbor, right? Wrong, according to a study published Thursday in Current Biology. Forbes reports researchers found children from religious backgrounds are actually less altruistic than children from secular households. Researchers tested more than 1,100 Christian, Muslim, and nonreligious children between...

No, Your Kid Was Not Born an Altruistic Little Angel

New study finds that previous research unwittingly primed kids to be nice

(Newser) - Back in 2006, a study that went on to gain prominence found that 18-month-olds were willing to be helpful even without being prompted. Many assumed this was evidence of innate altruism, but new research out of Stanford and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that...

Kidney Donors Have Brains 'Built for Compassion'

'Empathy zone' is bigger than average, study finds

(Newser) - People who donate kidneys to total strangers aren't just bighearted, they're big-brained compared to most people, researchers say. Neurologists scanned the brains of 39 such donors and found that their brains were 9% bigger than non-donors' brains—with significantly greater volume in the part of the brain that...

Do-Gooder Celebs Can Aid —and Irritate
Do-Gooder Celebs Can Aid —and Irritate

Do-Gooder Celebs Can Aid —and Irritate

Emma Thompson on the conflicts of charitable stars

(Newser) - These days every celebrity is a do-gooder, but for Emma Thompson, using star power to fight disease or injustice can be not only "stunningly effective" but "also profoundly off-putting." In a column for the Times of London, the actor and screenwriter describes the tension between charity and...

Manners Killed Titanic's Brits as Yanks Fled: Study

British were more likely to line up for lifeboats, researcher contends

(Newser) - British passengers aboard the Titanic were most likely to die because their sense of propriety inclined them to line up for lifeboats while Americans elbowed past to save themselves, claims an Australian researcher who is studying how people react in life-threatening disasters. Americans were 8.5% more likely than other...

Altruism Linked to Gene
 Altruism Linked to Gene

Altruism Linked to Gene

People with active AVPR1a gene more likely to give away money in study

(Newser) - Researchers have identified a gene that may influence altruism, reports the BBC. Test subjects who had the choice of keeping money or giving it away were 50% more likely to give it away if they had a more active version of the gene AVPR1a. The gene is linked to arginine...

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