As has been noted in past Psych 1001 blogs, "Minnesota nice" (a form of altruism) is a very real phenomenon. I myself have experienced multiple instances of people helping others for seemingly totally unselfish reasons. This past summer, my boyfriend and I were trying to pick up a friend from a concert in downtown Minneapolis at a very late hour. We hit an incredibly large pothole and blew out the front right tire of my car. The car was undriveable and so we were forced to pull over onto the side of a very busy street where parking was not permitted. I didn't know what to do. No towing company would be open this late and both my boyfriend and I had no idea how to fix the tire ourselves. We had not even gotten out of the car yet when 2 young men came up to us and asked if we needed some help. They immediately asked me to pop my trunk and they proceeded to find a tire that I had no idea was even there. They spent about an hour putting a new wheel on my car and chatting amiably with us. When they were done, they refused the money we offered them and told us that we could repay them by doing something like this for someone else in their time of need. This is a great example of altruism. If everyone had more empathy for those around them, the world would be a much better place. If everyone partook in it, altruism would turn into a common prosocial norm.
Minnesota Nice: The Altruism State
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