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Abstract

Although a growing number of studies indicate the psychological benefits of Kindness no clear definition or distinct measure of Kindness is available. A framework for considering kindness was therefore developed and a 40 item self-report questionnaire (the kindness measure) produced from it. This was completed by a sample of 165 people differing in age, gender and occupation. Responses varied enough to indicate the measure is discriminating between people. Multivariate analysis indicated three distinct aspects of kindness: Benign Tolerance (BT), Empathetic Responsivity (ER), and Principled Proaction (PP). Central to these, a more fundamental form of Kindness was also identified, that we propose to call Core Kindness (CK), that contrasts with Psychopathy, as an important aspect of personality. Differences between men and women and younger and older people lend external validity to the kindness scales and bode well for future more detailed studies. Directions for future research are proposed.

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... Contemporary research suggests that helpful acts are the manifestation of a multifaceted interpersonal trait known as kindness (Canter et al., 2017). It is suggested that individuals are kind with the purpose to provide support to one another without the expectation of a reward and at a certain cost. ...
... According to Canter et al. (2017) previous studies of kindness suggest possible facets of kindness, that can be brought together as a definition, or a mapping sentence, open to test within Facet Theory as discussed in detail by Canter (1985), Shye et al. (1994) and Borg and Shye (1995). Through integrating various findings Canter et al. (2017) tested six facets that they hypothesised described the domain of kindness, but the analysis of the data from their pilot study gave rise to the hypothesis of a more elegant structure that consisted of two facets; the psychological source of kindness and the form in which it is expressed, summarised in Table 1. ...
... According to Canter et al. (2017) previous studies of kindness suggest possible facets of kindness, that can be brought together as a definition, or a mapping sentence, open to test within Facet Theory as discussed in detail by Canter (1985), Shye et al. (1994) and Borg and Shye (1995). Through integrating various findings Canter et al. (2017) tested six facets that they hypothesised described the domain of kindness, but the analysis of the data from their pilot study gave rise to the hypothesis of a more elegant structure that consisted of two facets; the psychological source of kindness and the form in which it is expressed, summarised in Table 1. ...
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In the spirit of the growing developments in positive psychology, there is an increasing interest in how kind people are to each other. Yet, this area lacks any strong psychometric instrument. An initial exploratory study demonstrated that a 40-item questionnaire, completed by 165 people, revealed distinct aspects of kindness when subjected to multivariate analysis. A subsequent study is reported, using the structure of the exploratory results to further clarify the conceptual framework (Study 1). The revised 45-item questionnaire was administered to 1039 individuals from the general British population. Smallest Space Analysis of the variables, supported by Factor analysis, confirmed the hypothesis of two facets to kindness, the psychological source of the action (from principles or empathy), and the form of expression (through psychological involvement or following social prescription. It also revealed an additional general, core kindness, labelled Anthropophilia . Reliable scales derived from the combinations of the two elements from each facet were identified: Affective-Socially Prescribed; Affective-Proactive; Principle-Socially Prescribed and Principle-Proactive. Intercorrelations between the scales revealed that they measure different modes of kindness. Comparisons between male and female respondents provided external validity for the questionnaire. Study 2 ( N = 251) reported that the scales measure independent dimensions when correlated with similar and dissimilar concepts.
... The definitions of kindness are varied: some view kindness as a form of self-kindness, while others see it as a behaviour costly to the self that benefits others (Canter, Youngs, and Yaneva (2017). Otake et al. (2006) described it as a motivation to be kind, to recognise, and enact kindness. ...
... Others observe that help-giving behaviours include being warm and caring and listening to what a client has to say (Dunst, Trivette, & Hamby, 1996). Canter et al. (2017) go further and state that while empathy is a necessary aspect of kindness it is not enough; that kindness requires actions and reactions to others, rather than just the ability to have empathy. Rehfuss, Cosio, and Del Corso (2011) note that for counsellors who utilise Savickas' (1989) career style interview, 'a good relationship between the counsellor and client is crucial for the trust, support, and accurate reflective skills needed to allow clients to share . . . ...
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... Considering the rater effect in the assessment procedure becomes more and more important. Psychological studies on kindness have indicated that younger people (under 40 years) are significantly more unkind than older people (over 40 years) (Canter, Youngs, & Yaneva, 2017), and age difference may also have an impact on the assessment procedure. ...
... The aim of the study was to establish how the holistic assessment of the writing part of the language proficiency examinations is influenced by the age, rating experience and empathy level of the rater. We assumed that there would be differences in the severity of assessment between older and younger raters, since recent psychological studies have revealed that younger people are less kind (see Canter et al., 2017). Former studies on the relative importance of the age of the rater in the assessment process have hinted that older and younger raters may focus on different aspects of writing (Eckes, 2008). ...
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Assessment reliability is vital in language testing. We have studied the influence of empathy, age and experience on the assessment of the writing component in Estonian Language proficiency examinations at levels A2-C1, and the effect of the rater properties on rater performance at different language levels. The study included 5,270 examination papers, each assessed by two raters. Raters were aged 34-73 and had a rating experience of 3-15 years. The empathy level (EQ) of all 26 A2-C1 raters had previously been measured by Baron-Cohen and Wheelwright's self-report questionnaire. The results of the correlation analysis indicated that in case of regular training (and with three or more years of experience), the rater's level of empathy, age and experience did not have a significant effect on the score.
... Kindness as a concept invites a variety of definitions and approaches to describing and measuring it are still evolving [82]. There is, however, a growing body of evidence outlining the positive impact of acts of kindness at an individual level, to the extent of describing the neurological changes associated with their commitment [83]. ...
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Although community inclusion brings a number of advantages for vulnerable individuals, it can also entail a range of challenges, and draws in issues of safety and security. This qualitative psychological study, therefore, aimed to explore the challenges being faced by two groups of vulnerable individuals: those with intellectual disabilities and dementia, and how these could be addressed in order to establish a community that is safe and welcoming for all. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with a range of community stakeholders—for instance, local businesses, residents, and individuals with intellectual disabilities, dementia and their carers—and data was thematically analysed to explore the issue of inclusion and participation particularly in relation to stigma and prejudice, self-worth, social isolation and feeling safe. As well as highlighting practical issues regarding inclusion and support, the work emphasised the psychological dimension, linking to a multi-faceted conception of community participation. While significant work is already addressing issues of risk and safety for vulnerable populations (such as “Keep Safe” schemes), the work described here leads to an alternative conceptualization, tied to notions of kindness in communities with a view to crafting communities capable of safely welcoming a wider variety of marginalized groups.
... Kindness, initially to be defined as respectful concern, has been differentiated as a specific focus for scientific research (Lyubomirsky and Layous, 2013) emerging to prominence Kindness among colleagues amidst some larger and grander themes, compassion (Miller et al., 2012) and altruism (Grant and Mayer, 2009). Distinguishing kindness from these related constructs, to be able to consider how kindness itself is significant is a contemporary concern in social science as a whole (Canter et al., 2017) is here considered in the context of organization and employment. The current and continuing interest in these grand themes across social, economic and organizational life can be complemented by research specifically on kindness itself. ...
Article
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Chapter
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Chapter
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Important features of the self-concept can be located outside of the individual and inside close or related others. The authors use this insight to reinterpret data previously said to support the empathy-altruism model of helping, which asserts that empathic concern for another results in selflessness and true altruism. That is, they argue that the conditions that lead to empathic concern also lead to a greater sense of self-other overlap, raising the possibility that helping under these conditions is not selfless but is also directed toward the self. In 3 studies, the impact of empathic concern on willingness to help was eliminated when oneness--a measure of perceived self-other overlap--was considered. Path analyses revealed further that empathic concern increased helping only through its relation to perceived oneness, thereby throwing the empathy-altruism model into question. The authors suggest that empathic concern affects helping primarily as an emotional signal of oneness.
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The authors examined the construct of psychopathy as applied to 103 female offenders, using the multitrait-multimethod matrix proposed by D. T. Campbell and D. W. Fiske (1959). Instruments used in the study included the following: (a) Antisocial Scale of the Personality Assessment Inventory (L. C. Morey, 1991); (b) Psychopathy Checklist--Revised (R. D. Hare, 1990); and (c) Antisocial scale of the Personality Disorder Examination (A. W. Loranger, 1988). Criterion-related validity was also evaluated to determine the relationship between psychopathy and staff ratings of aggressive and disruptive behavior within the institution. Results revealed significant convergence and divergence across the instruments supporting the construct of psychopathy in a female offender sample. The measures of psychopathy demonstrated moderate convergence with staff ratings of violence, verbal aggression, manipulativeness, lack of remorse, and noncompliance. It is interesting to note that an exploratory factor analysis of the PCL-R identified a substantially different factor structure for women than has been previously found for male psychopathy.