I favor the belief that there are people who are genuinely nice and others who posture due to social recognition or reward. The truly nice remain so during hardship, when no one is looking, and towards strangers.
Prairie voles have receptors for oxytocin and vasopressin while meadow and montane do not. Prairie voles have the capability to form enduring relationships while the other two types of voles do not.
Female laboratory rats will fear younger rats not their own. When given a dose of oxytocin they will care for and mother the young stranger rats instead.
Niceness here is not simply being nice but also being sociable and willing to contribute to society. The civic component discussed in the OP's article alludes to that.
I do think some people are born nice while others have to work really hard at it if they want to be evenly nice. Loving your own but disfavoring strangers outside your group is not nice but is instead being biased.
My belief is that it is a combination between nurture and nature. Sure, we could be born with the right genes to be nice…but if we are raised in a family setting that promotes nastiness, then a learned behaviour will definitely impact any natural inclinations.
Save the Earth! It's the only planet with chocolate!
ďIf you canít explain it simply, you donít understand it well enough.Ē ~ Albert Einstein
Posted 05 October 2012 - 08:17 PM
The fact there are people who are nice, does not necessarily support the idea of a genetic predisposition to niceness. The most raw human reactions have to come from babies and toddlers who are still in the process of learning and what we see in these kids is that we are inherently self-interested, not inherently altruistic. You don't have to teach a baby to stop sharing, you don't have to teach a baby to throw a tantrum when they don't get what they want, you don't have to teach a child to stop taking responsibility for the "bad" things others do. No, parents spend countless hours teaching kids to share, to stop taking things away from other kids, to stop thinking everything is "Mine!" teaching them not to throw temper tantrums, to admit they were the one who broke the vase or hit the other kid.
"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881
Makes sense from an evolutionary psychology perspective that we evolved this trait so as to better deal with living within the safety of a tribal setting.
The nice employee -
1. Has good interpersonal relationships.
2. Makes lasting friendships.
3. Leaves others with a good impression.
4. People trust and respect them.
5. Likely to be promoted into a leadership role (if they are dominant).
The bad employee -
1. Has bad interpersonal relationships leading to arguments and conflicts.
2. No one likes them and has no real friends.
3. Others look for reasons to get revenge and bring them down.
4. No one trusts them.
5. If allowed they will manipulate their way into a leadership role but wont peform in it due to poor people skills.
Being nice towards everyone gets you further in life so long as you take no rubbish off the bad.
I am reluctant to believe what this article entails. "Niceness" lies not in our genes, but in our will. We make choices, good or bad. Some people are born in unhappy families, and become unhappy themselves. Others might try the opposite thing, or "the Golden Rule." But what do I know? I'm no scientist...
UFOs aren't always the alien's spacecraft...sometimes they are the aliens.