Study: How kind are Australians?

WE’RE a pretty kind nation – but mainly to our own kind.

A survey commissioned by the University of Tasmania’s School of Social Sciences, as part of nationwide research by the Australian National University concluded that Australians are “overwhelmingly committed to kindness as a moral value, and that assumptions that we are becoming an unkind society are unfounded”..

The study found that 95% of respondents believe that it is quite or very important to be kind to one another; 97% agreed that they see themselves as a kind person; 90% reported performing a kind act at least once a week and 82% say most Australians are quite or very kind.

And 51% said they were kind because “it’s who I am” while only 12% of respondents said it was because they like to be seen as kind, it may benefit them or that they are required to be kind.

The survey found attitudes varied according to the generation. For instance, those born after 1986 committed more acts of kindness to strangers, but thought overall this country was not a kind place. Yet baby boomers were kinder to neighbours.

A key finding was that younger generations report being kinder than older generations, notably to strangers, The iGens (those born since 1986) are six times more likely to perform an act of kindness than baby boomers.

But they are less likely to think most Australians are kind and, in a separate analysis, only 11 per cent of iGens agree it is important to be kind to neighbours, compared with 58 per cent of Baby Boomers.

But Tasmania University’s Associate Professor Daphne Habibis said one-third of Australians felt some people were less deserving of kindness (criminals, bludgers, asylum seekers).

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4 thoughts on “Study: How kind are Australians?

  1. The Australians I personally know are probably not representative of our larger population, but they mainly have a kindly attitude to people they know. Even where there is a personal dislike, they can usually remain civil. The problems arise when there is no connection between Australians and others, except for derogaatory hearsay or media reports. Fear or distrust of strangers.

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  2. After travelling around Asia, Australia customer service is superior and Australians are more community minded. Asians on the other hand are more family oriented and a great deal more patience.

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    • When I was a teen there was full employment and customer service, especially in the cities, was uncaring and sometimes dicourteous. As employers gained more choice of employee they began insisting on better attitudes. Small town employees were always more friendly.

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      • In Malaysia they have the combination of large job vacancies and poor pay. So they get who they can to work for them. If you don’t like their attitude they’ll just move on to the next job.

        In Indonesia the people are polite and friendly but if you want some technical expertise as you want to buy a computer or something then they are not much help.

        The Chinese are hard working but are not into customer service. If you want it then buy it otherwise don’t buy it. It is up to you. Tell me when you are ready to buy.

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