Random acts of kindness

30 June 2023

Dr James Kirby from UQ's School of Psychology spoke with 2SER radio about what kindness is.

Dr Kirby says kindness is actions that we do for others or ourselves that aim to give a sense of happiness.

"Think of things like gestures of favours that you might do for someone," Dr Kirby said.

"Those acts of kindness kind of stem from an evolutionary perspective of kinship altruism or reciprocal altruism, where we would do acts for another but we know that because we have a shared connection that through time it would be reciprocated.

"Whereas sometimes we can feel a little bit reluctant or uncertain receiving kindness from a stranger because you don't have the chance to give it back.

"So we've got this feeling like 'I'd love to return the favour, but how can I return the favour to a stranger?', it's often difficult.

"Certainly random acts of kindness are really important and happen constantly, it's fantastic."

Listen to the interview