It has been long believed that humans are inherently selfish, doing whatever needed to perpetuate their own survival. Recently, a study done by the University of California, Berkley suggests that we are evolving toward the more benevolent side of the spectrum. The study by social psychologists suggests that we are evolving to be more cooperative and compassionate in our quest to survive and thrive. Scientists believe that we are successful as a species because of our nurturing and altruistic tendencies as opposed to an ‘every man for himself’ type of mentality. Taking care of our young and those in need is considered our most primal and our strongest instinct, our ability to cooperate as a species has been a large factor in the success of the human race, and the flow continues to head in that direction.
Recent scientific evidence has found that surprisingly, our brains are actually wired to be benevolent. The study, led by UC Berkeley graduate student Laura Saslow and Sarina Rodrigues of Oregon State University, found that people with a particular variation of the oxytocin gene receptor are more adept at reading the emotional state of others, and get less stressed out under tense circumstances. Oxytocin is secreted into the bloodstream and brain promoting social interaction, romantic love, and other positive functions. White studies show that bonding can lead to a longer and healthier life, the question is focused on how these traits ensure our survival.
A study to answer this question came up with the results that those who were more giving and nicer to their peers had a better relationship with them as well as more influence. Those who remained self centered were shunned by their peers and at times even hated. In light of recent discoveries concluding that the human brain is geared toward acts of kindness and the benefits that benevolence yields, scientists are increasingly beginning to wonder why such large amounts of selfishness exists. Positive psychology is being studied at an increasing rate throughout the United States, and there are interesting results pertaining to the study and how it can help cultivate a better society. Studies on children have also concluded that those less geared toward material possessions and competitive activities are more resilient and compassionate adults.
Results of various studies have connected a sympathetic touch with the release of oxytocin and a calming of the body. Scientists have amassed strong evidence to support the theory that humans are wired to be sympathetic and that kindness is our strongest instinct.