A new study has found that nearly all Brits believe themselves to be among the top 50% of nicest people in the entire country.
However, they also added that the same people were more likely to be richer and happier, while niceness was also found to help people cope with stress.
Jonathan Freeman, who led the study, said: “We observed a really interesting result in relation to people’s ratings of how nice they are, and how they scored on validated measures of individual differences.
“For example, more than half of participants who rated themselves as the second-highest level of nice scored below the sample average on agreeableness – so people think they’re nicer than they really may be.”
Participants in the study were given a list of nice behaviours and asked to mark off which ones they did.
Most respondents answered saying that they often gave directions to people they didn’t know, held doors open for others or gave up their seats on public transport.
However, two thirds of the respondents said that they hardly ever helped people carry heavy shopping, while just one in six frequently gave money to strangers.
Around a quarter said that they gave blood often or helped the elderly to cross the road.
The research, carried out for Monarch Airlines, included a questionnaire which was filled out by 100 people.
Their scores were validated with a tool called FaceReader, which picks up “micro-expressions” that are invisible to the naked eye while participants watched videos of things like car alarms going off and screaming children.
The camera recorded signs of fear and disgust in their faces, suggesting that any niceness someone has can be wiped away in a second by annoying sounds and situations.
Top pic: Rex