An expert says that spreading altruism through social networks can make people across the world kind to one another.
Nicholas Christakis, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, has observed in a study that one's kindness can turn a friend kind to someone else he/she knows.
To demonstrate this, Christakis designed a cooperation game in which 120 students were organized into groups of four, and asked to give money to their group.
The game lasted five rounds, and after each round the students were reorganized so that no two appeared in the same group twice.
At the end of each found, the participants were told how much the others in their group had given.
Christakis observed that if someone gave a dollar more than the predicted group average, the others in that group gave approximately 20 cents more than expected in the next round.
The altruism persisted into the third round, said the researcher.
A separate study conducted by Christakis's team showed that cooperative behavior spreads to three degrees of separation, from friend to friend to friend, reports New Scientist.
Based on their observations, Christakis and colleagues came to the conclusion that a person who is popular and well connected could have a special role to play, as his/her compassionate acts could resonate further through the network, and he/she was also more likely to benefit from other people's kindness.