Remember elders coaxing us into the customary 'please and thank-you' routine? Well, an Australian study has suggested that sometimes an act of good deed can cost you your life! Case in point - more Britons died aboard the Titanic than their American counterparts because their 'good manners' let them down!
English people were seven per cent less likely to survive the 1912 tragedy, for they may have insisted that lifeboat places were given to "women and children first" while they queued for a place.
On the other hand, Americans were 8.5 per cent more likely to survive than the norm.
Yet there was practically no difference in the survival rate among the two countries' women, indicating that English gentlemen gallantly sacrificed themselves.
Researchers from Queensland University of Technology in Australia have found that English men were only 0.3 per cent less likely to survive, while their American counterparts were only 0.4 per cent more likely.
Irish passengers were five per cent and Swedes two per cent more likely to survive the disaster.
According to the authors, the results showed that "cultural background matters" in a life-and-death situation.
The study also found that women were 52 per cent more likely to survive compared to the average, while children aged 15 and below were 32 per cent more likely to live through it than people aged 51 or more.
While women aged between 15 and 35 - optimum reproductive age - were even more likely to survive the tragedy.
The possible explanation, according the researchers, was that people would act on a "procreation instinct" to preserve their species by protecting mothers and young children.
Moreover, better a passenger's class of accommodation, the more likely they were to survive.
"Being in the first class as opposed to third class increases the probability of surviving by around 40 percentage points," the Telegraph quoted the authors as writing.
Six of the seven children in first class, and all of the children in second class, were saved, while only a third was saved in third class.