[Ed. – Apparently, the issue is partly whether you furrow your brow or twist your mouth when answering certain questions about niceness. I think I’ll stick with the book of Proverbs for the time being. I mean, the criteria listed below would disqualify the Little Sisters of the Poor, for crying out loud.]
You may consider yourself to be a nice person, but according to a new study you’re probably not as nice as you think.
Psychologists from Goldsmiths, University of London have discovered that 98 per cent of British people think they’re part of the nicest 50 per cent of the population.
Participants in the study were given a list of “nice” behaviours and asked which ones they do.
The most frequently carried out gestures were giving directions to strangers, holding doors open and giving up seats on public transport – all perfectly nice things to do, no doubt.
However two thirds of people admitted that they rarely if ever help others carrying heavy shopping bags, five-sixths infrequently give money to strangers, and only a quarter of people give blood or help elderly or infirm people across the road often.
The scores from the questionnaire were validated by a tool called Facereader which monitors features such as furrowing of brows, how eyes appear and shape of mouth, thus picking up on expressions usually indiscernible to the human eye.