What is kindness? Why are people kind and unkind? How can we promote kindness at home, school, and work? Kindlab uses the latest scientific insights to answer these questions, and help make the world a kinder place.
Kindlab, our research hub, investigates the causes and consequences of kindness through a mix of pure and applied research methods, drawing on the best of the social, behavioral, and life sciences. Everything we learn goes into building high-impact, real-world products and programs and sharing our knowledge with the world.
What’s the most effective way to choose kindness? It’s time to move from random to recommended acts. We’ve collated over 1,000 unique acts of kindness, and are having them rated for perceived costs, benefits, and level of kindness. We’ll be publishing our findings soon, but for now you can see how we’ve brought this work to life in response to the events of 2020.
How kind are you really? How kind are people, in general? And how can we best measure kindness? We are working with psychologists at Harvard University to develop a new kindness questionnaire. The questionnaire uses real-world acts to assess how kind people are to family, friends, colleagues and strangers.
Can you teach schoolchildren to choose kindness? Kindlab helped to design and evaluate Learn Kind, our K-8 kindness-based social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum. The initial results from our 89-school pilot are very promising. Teachers report significant and substantial increases in their students’ ability to work through difficult emotions and be kind to others, as well as a range of other positive outcomes.
Before we could learn how to most effectively advance kindness, we needed an in-depth understanding of what kindness is. And so, one of the first things Kindlab investigated was an answer to the question, “What is kindness?” Our years of research have revealed that kindness is personal, intimate, and means something different to each person - yet it’s also something universally known and understood. We’ve learned that no definition of kindness is wrong. So what is kindness, anyway? We could tell you what the textbooks say, but we’d rather start with our community.
*And if you want to get technical, kindness is a meta-value that encompasses acts of altruism, empathy, justice, respect, and more. It is always an action, often done with the intention to benefit, and sometimes (but not always) driven by emotion.
Science advances faster when we work together. In order to learn as much as we can about kindness, and support other researchers doing the work, we have set up Kindfund to provide small grants (<$5k) for kindness-related research. Some of the projects we’ve funded include research on kindness-meditation and political polarization, moral emotions, kindness to animals, and kindness to the planet.Apply Here
Do you want to help build a kinder world? We want to hear your ideas. We do our best to reply to every inquiry.