the science of kindness at work in the world


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.

what kindlab does

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 are the kindest things you can do? We have collated over 1,000 acts of kindness, and are having them rated for perceived costs, benefits, and kindness, and categorized by potential donor and recipient (who can do what for whom). The goal is to move from random to recommended acts of kindness.

What is Your KQ?

How kind are you really? How kind are people, in general? And how can we best measure kindness? We worked with psychologists at Harvard University to develop a new Kindness Questionnaire. The KQ uses real-world acts to assess how kind people are to family, friends, colleagues and strangers.


Can you teach schoolchildren to be kind(er)? 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.

what is kindness anyway?

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 – 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 hear from you.

*And if you want to get technical, kindness is a meta-value that encompasses acts of altruism, bravery, compassion, decency, empathy, fairness, forgiveness, friendship, generosity, gratitude, humility, love, loyalty, mercy, munificence, respect, sympathy, trust, and understanding.



Kindlab Director Oliver Scott Curry’s TEDx talk on ”How to be Good”.


In light of the events in 2020, surrounding the pandemic and death of George Floyd, we studied what kind acts were most effective, and blogged about them here.


Read our meta-analysis of the experimental effects of kindness on the well-being of the kind actor.


We partnered with academic researchers to uncover ways to decrease the negative feelings people have about those in an opposing political party. Check out the peer-reviewed publication here.


Contrary to what you may hear, a growing body of research shows that acts of kindness and altruism are widespread across the internet. Read our study to learn more.


Our first Kindlab study was an experiment with 691 of our citizen scientists and explored the effects of engaging in 7 days of kindness. Read about the experiment and our findings here.



Science advances faster / We do better when we work together. In order to support other researchers working on kindness, we have set up Kindfund to provide small grants (<$5k) for kindness-related research. We have previously funded a project on kindness-meditation and political polarization. We are currently funding projects on kindness to animals, the planet and on moral emotions.

who we are

Dr. Oliver Scott Curry
Research Director

Oliver received his PhD from the London School of Economics. He has spent the past ten years teaching and researching cognitive and evolutionary anthropology at the University of Oxford. Dr Curry’s career has been focused on studying the biological and cultural basis of human morality, taking a scientific approach to questions that were once the exclusive domain of philosophy.

Dr. Chloe San Miguel
Lab Manager

Chloe received her PhD in Experimental Psychology, with a focus on personality and social psychology, from Idaho State University. Her academic research focused on personality perception and judgment accuracy on social media. She designs, manages, and runs Kindlab surveys and experiments, helps wrangle and analyze data, interprets insights, and gets materials ready for presentation and publication.

Dr. Ryan McManus
Statistician and Data Visualization Consultant

Ryan received his PhD in Experimental Social Psychology and Neuroscience, with a minor in quantitative and computational methods, from Boston College where he studied morality as well as methods and statistics in psychological science. He advises on statistical methodology, organizes, and analyzes the data from Kindlab experiments, and creates summaries and visualizations of data and results.


We lean on a team of more than 500 volunteer citizen scientists in more than 45 countries, who test out our surveys and experiments.


Do you want to help build a kinder world? We want to hear your ideas. We do our best to reply to every inquiry.


every kind act matters.