No kidding. The one study, conducted among 400 students between the ages of 9 and 11, looked at how intentional and frequent acts of kindness resonate within peer groups.
Those students who were instructed to commit three acts of kindness each week saw a bigger boost in their popularity from peers than those students who were instructed to visit three places each week.
The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California-Berkeley puts the study in context: children have the capacity to act kindly and receive kindness positively, yet still have to be prompted to behave this way. Vicki Zakrzewski writes:
“[T]he students were asked to perform these acts of kindness as part of the study, illustrating how, even though we have an instinct for empathy and compassion, we often need to be encouraged to act on that instinct.”
To read the study and learn techniques about how teachers can encourage more of their students to practice kindness—and up their social status while helping peers—read the full article on the Greater Good website.