Kindness of Strangers
by phil on Sunday Apr 27, 2003 12:40 PM
"American Scientist reports a study by Dr. Robert Levine, CalState Psychologist, about the kindness of strangers. He and his graduate students conducted the most comprehensive test ever of the helpfulness of people in various cities worldwide. Their results: New York ranks dead last in the USA, and second-to-last worldwide, outdone only by Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, ranked the highest, followed by San Jose (Costa Rica, not California), Lilongwe (Malawi), Calcutta, and Vienna," jasonm1 writes. "Levine's rankings were based on the following three rates of assistance: picking up a dropped pen, helping the injured, and helping the blind cross the street. The experimenters were all graduate students, who faked the conditions (or dropped the pens). Additional experiments were conducted in the US, which studied the chances that a stamped, addressed, sealed letter would be mailed if found and whether or not strangers are willing to make change.