The World Cup of Kindness

| November / December 2003

The most altruistic people in the United States live in small and medium-sized cities in the Southeast, according to a study by psychologist Robert V. Levine of California State University at Fresno, noted in The Wilson Quarterly (Summer 2003). The South's traditional relaxed way of life, which probably endures in these smaller cities, may be the explanation. Levine found that on the international level, the pace of life turned out to be key in determining who was most likely to retrieve and return a dropped pen, for instance, or mail a stamped and addressed letter found on the sidewalk. Rio de Janeiro residents were the world's most altruistic; folks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were the least likely to help.