Pete Seeger Being generous of spirit is a wonderful way to live

Researcher Dr Wojtek Przepiorka, from the Department of Sociology at Oxford University, said: ‘When acts of generosity occur naturally with no concern for how they are perceived by others, they can be effective signals of trustworthiness. Charity balls are places where people can openly display their generosity, but in this case, because people know they are going to be observed, this might be a strategic gesture and less telling of their true character. We regard acts of genuine generosity as those produced spontaneously and these are widely seen as a reliable indicator of trustworthiness even when they are small gestures. ‘
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Professor Diego Gambetta, a Nuffield College Official Fellow from Oxford University who is now on leave at the European University Institute, said: ‘Our experiments showed that cheating comes in clusters — a large portion of people who were mean were also prepared to lie about it, and those who lied were much more likely to be untrustworthy, as if one sin promotes another. It appears that people widely regard generosity and trustworthiness as being “cut from the same cloth” as far as human characteristics are concerned. However, some people display generosity when it is likely to be in their own advantage. In our experiments, we also find that those who are guilty of “strategic” displays of generosity themselves are more likely to spot strategic generosity in others.’ –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a large charity event. Include the internal monologue of a character who is using the event as a strategic way of building trust.

Journaling Prompt: How do you decide that someone is trustworthy?

Art Prompt: Generosity

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about creating trust in relationships.

Photo Credit: BK on Flickr

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