Are humans more prone to generosity or selfishness? With the help of a pair of wealthy donors, researchers affiliated with University of British Columbia, Yale, and Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) ran an experiment to find out. Two hundred people from six countries were selected to participate in a vague "mystery" experiment. They learned that they would be given $10,000 with the only conditions being that they had to spend all of it in three months, they couldn't save or invest any of it, and they had to report to researchers precisely how they spent it. The results are in and, happily, generosity reigned. Participants spent 68% of their cash pro-socially, benefiting others and sometimes simultaneously themselves (paying for a shared vacation or dinner, for example.) On average, they also donated a fifth to charities or other causes.

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