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Why We Hide Our Good Deeds

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It doesn’t make much sense when we try to hide our good deeds, even though we know that we would get rewards from doing something good. Scientists are trying to solve this our bizarre behavior by using game theory. Hosted by: Brit Garner ---------- Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow ---------- Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters: azarus G, Sam Lutfi, D.A. Noe, الخليفي سلطان, Piya Shedden, KatieMarie Magnone, Scott Satovsky Jr, Charles Southerland, Patrick D. Ashmore, charles george, Kevin Bealer, Chris Peters ---------- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/thescishow ---------- Sources: https://www.medicaldaily.com/being-humble-hiding-your-accomplishments-has-social-benefits-424454 https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/iosa-tlo052418.php https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-018-0354-z https://sites.google.com/site/hoffmanmoshe/ https://www.dropbox.com/s/gd655zcvom7pxzn/Modesty_Combined.pdf?dl=0 http://nautil.us/blog/larry-david-and-the-game-theory-of-anonymous-donations http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~crsi/SEDIKIDES,%20GREGG,%20HART.pdf https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/game-evolutionary/
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Текстовые комментарии (292)
Donnie Pinns (7 часов назад)
This is where modern science only seems to complicate matters beyond necessary. Though scientists want to understand all about human behaviour, their way of doing things sometimes make things harder to grasp. Personnally I'd tackle this from another perspective, which is simpler and rather philosophical. First, we need to put aside the reward-punishment theories to explain human behavioural motives to do good or bad things. The question posed in the video lies within another scope; hiding good deeds doesn't necessarily involve doing good because there's some sort of a reward awaiting or you refrain from bad deeds because there will be punishment. Fear and joy eventually are not good drivers for our actions. Second, doing good is rarely motivated by such a want that you'll be considered more noble or regarded more highly. Across societies, there've been "wise individuals" since antiquity, and these individuals implicitly understand that, in many cases, many a problem arises because of the way people normally think and understand things, which leads to more or less "plotted" actions and self-satisfactory construal of the objective world. To sensible persons, doing good is simply just for the sake of it, not because of anything else. It's not that they don't feel joy when they've done something good, but to them, it just feels needless to even mention about it. Another reason for concealing benevolences is that, to some people, they simply feel good with keeping things quiet, they don't want to get involved in some fuss (such as that they're publicly praised for doing good); in that case, too much attention actually causes discomfort for them; just like how some people are constantly seeking the spotlight, while others deem that needless. Altruists are generally alike that they don't actually need the spotlight; and this trait is linked to modesty, which is pretty innate to some individuals. If you plot to do something good then hide it just with the intention of making people think highly of you, then, by nature, that is never modesty.
lethauntic (11 часов назад)
You think that there's no downside to confessing your love to someone? Sure it may turn out great, but what if they don't feel the same? It very well may damage your relationship with them, regardless of how close you are to them. I'm sorry, but I'm not just gonna confess to someone when I'm more than certain that they don't feel the same... It's not objectively a positive thing to do. Now, maybe not acting disinterested would make sense, but saying you like someone isn't really what I think of when I hear "good deed".
Battlemage4 (15 часов назад)
i hide my deeds because i dont want a target on my head. -then again that might just be a poor person vancouver thing
lotusofcontrol (1 день назад)
Is this related to the instinct to act like you're dumber or know less than you really are/do?
Johan Åkerblom (2 дня назад)
you suck
zakosist (2 дня назад)
Another thing you should think about is if eg. everyone know you were donating money, more people will start asking you for money as you may be more likely to give it. So you end up getting exploited and maybe end up helping people over your own capacity. Hiding your interest in someone could make sense because you have more time to get to know each other and show of your good traits in a way that dont just seem like bragging or lack of self insight, and also evaluate if you like that person enough yourself to be in a relationship. If you first ask and then mess up its likely you wont get another chance.
Marqan (2 дня назад)
You missed a few very important and obvious possibilities: - First, and most importantly the person doing good deeds might consider them selfish acts, even though it doesn't at all look like that from the outside. You might've done it because you were lazy somewhere else. Or you're making up for something that others don't consider that bad. So while trying the balance things out with good deeds, others knowing and praising you for it might result in feeling shame, but at least an awkward situation. - In situations where you can choose to share the info, sharing it can be considered bragging. - People might not want to push expectations of themselves higher in others' eyes. - Some people can't handle the situations when they're in the centre of attention.
k (2 дня назад)
If I do a good deed I don't want anyone to feel like they own me something.
Ceelvain (2 дня назад)
I think there's a much more simple explanation for those behaviors. First, the reward for your good actions never really come from the outside. It's always your brain itself releasing that dopamine or other hormone that make you feel good. So, why not picture this secretive altruism as just the consequence of an internal brain mechanism triggering that hormonal response? Just like, you know, beliefs.
CaramelLeek (2 дня назад)
That does apply to charity donations (mostly for PR reasons), but I don't think it applies to job interviews as much. Sometimes if you don't show them what your abilities are (dontre over do it, of course), they will assume you don't know it.
jens jensen (2 дня назад)
I do non of these
Cplayz (2 дня назад)
Paul Delaunay (2 дня назад)
Mei Chii (3 дня назад)
I dont hear science i hear matpat
Darin Conard (3 дня назад)
Interesting analysis, but I think there's another reason we might hide those good deeds - to avoid dropping bait. It's an unfortunate truth in the world we have that there are those among us who see those good deeds and perceive the donor as a mark. Make one high-profile donation and suddenly there is a horde outside your door with their hand out. Or some in those horde could have more aggressive means in mind than just a plea, and brought a gun. Keep it anonymous, and stay off the radar, so to speak. Which falls in line with evo-psych, a learned response to satisfy our empathetic need to help others without attracting predators in the process.
GiggitySam Entz (3 дня назад)
That's some high-quality voice recording ! O.O
Thatoun Futgui (3 дня назад)
Maybe it just feels good to help people and some don't need it to be acknowledged by others who aren't involved to know that what they did was good.
Klarisse Magallanes (3 дня назад)
Tyler Lane (3 дня назад)
Why behavioral sciences have to assume all human behavior is inherently selfish is beyond me. A computer simulation of human behavior told you that even someone donating money anonymously is really just doing it to impress people, wow thanks guys
Lyndis S. (3 дня назад)
Please. The Japanese had already coined this important concept. It's called *_Tsundere_* !
Silvia G. (3 дня назад)
Should or should we not let our good works be seen? https://carm.org/should-we-let-our-good-works-be-seen
photondance (3 дня назад)
I like to secretly do bad deeds. People often become stronger through adversity, but if they know it’s me sabotaging their happiness, or success, they don’t thank me for challenging them. They just get angry.
Rimsiakas (3 дня назад)
People donate anonymously because people want to justify to themselves that they did a good deed not for external validation.
Daniel Duncan (3 дня назад)
I am definitely not modest. When I do something good(which is pretty damn often) I tell everyone. And no, people do not like me. And I don't care, they can suck on it. All I can say is, if you don't like hearing about it go and do something good yourself.
partymetroid (3 дня назад)
Christ on humility and charity: "Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. "But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you." (Matt 6:1-4)
Klance Mcclain (3 дня назад)
Human Psychology? MatPats got it covered.
aKa Donut (3 дня назад)
Well, if you tell people you did something good then it means you are prideful. Pride is a sin, tho I am not religious I don't to be happy about my good deeds, and I don't tell people because good should be the usual, the everyday stuff, the expected.... I don't talk about everyday stuff.... 's boring
Colin flack (4 дня назад)
But that's just a comment, An unoriginal comment thanks for reading
Warp Scanner (4 дня назад)
I can tell you why some people conceal good deeds, they just don't really want to talk about it with anyone. Maybe the good deed was under traumatic circumstances, or maybe they're simply annoyed by praise they see as over zealous.
#1 Tako (4 дня назад)
Modest or being humble? For me personally I find it morally wrong to expect rewards or incentives for doing good. I also don't like favors because now I feel that I owe someone for that favor, and I've seen this quality in others. Basically I want to do good on my own time without people feeling obligated to repay it. At least that's the only reason I can think of as to why I act that way.
Anthony Norman (4 дня назад)
So, inverse virtue signaling?
patches365 (4 дня назад)
I hide my good deeds because I don't want to unnecessarily raise people's expectations of me. If I donate money once and everyone knows about it, it's going to put pressure on me to continue to donate money at every opportunity in order to maintain my new reputation, which is unsustainable and when I eventually fail to do so, the hit to my reputation will outstrip any gains.
BurpAtTheMoonAtNoon (4 дня назад)
But Hey! That's just a Theory! A GAME-THEORY!! Aaaaaand Cut!
Alex ander (4 дня назад)
ig some People donate $ to actually help without Need for approval
Dr. DJ Savato (4 дня назад)
Simple. People feel like the good act is being negated by witnesses who think that 1. Flaunting this good act is frowned upon and/or 2. Witnessing this good act makes you feel bad about yourself for not doing it. And I think we also don't like to be reminded that we did something good as it draws unnecessary attention and "fame".
Face Nemesis (4 дня назад)
one time someone was around me when i gave food to someone downtown and they praised me for.. being nice? honestly it felt really weird that someone praised me for just being nice to someone who needed food. so i just hide it and dont mention it anywhere normally because helping people is good enough for me and calling attention to it just feels bad.
Poofiemus (4 дня назад)
. . . did I just get a video explaining Severus Snape??
wcdeich4 (4 дня назад)
Another reason is that if you boast you give money away, people start begging you for money.
Steeldancer (4 дня назад)
No good deed goes unpunished?
Peter XYZ (4 дня назад)
In my "perfect world", I don't have to hide anything. In this weird world of humans, I need to hide how much resources (money...no, I do not have much; but, still I have more than those wasteful types around me) I have.
PhantomStrider (4 дня назад)
Can't a person just do a nice thing because they feel like it's the right thing to do? I wasn't aware psychology believed secretive altruism came down to brown-nosing with certain more powerful figures..
rex. (4 дня назад)
i personally think that people have a harder time hiding the good deed
John Thomson (4 дня назад)
So... quality over quantity of attention. Makes sense.
Jose Ramirez (4 дня назад)
I secretly do good deeds without anyone knowing. And then, I find out about it later on. Ah geez, I'm such a nice guy!
Johnnie Hougaard Nielsen (4 дня назад)
A reason for being silent about altruistic acts is that having done it can improve personal feeling of self-value. Also it can be part of making the world a nicer place, as the receiver may become more likely to also help out without expecting some sort of reputation boost, or other external benefit.
Janita van der Kuur (4 дня назад)
With a theory it’s always finding ONE answer. I’ve noticed multiple times, in everything, that nothing is a “one size fits all” solution. So it’s never one answer or solution. Also in this case there are LOTS of reasons why people would, totally depending on the person. Everyone’s different.
Janita van der Kuur (4 дня назад)
With a theory it’s always finding ONE answer. I’ve noticed multiple times, in everything, that nothing is a “one size fits all” solution. So it’s never one answer or solution. Also in this case there are LOTS of reasons why people would, totally depending on the person. Everyone’s different
The Warped Board (4 дня назад)
Fascinating! Excellent presentation!
DaUsefulMarker (4 дня назад)
Luna Lovegood (4 дня назад)
I think that people do good deeds, not for social approval or to help other people but just because it feels good. This is a stupid example but I can’t afford to donate to charity yet lol but if there’s rubbish in the common room I throw it away because I just feel like I’m doing something good. I don’t really need to announce it to anyone because it’s not their reaction that determines how good I feel about the action.
V. Hansen (4 дня назад)
I do good deeds to put the universal balance in my debt. If someone knows and thanks me it feels like it negates my deed. It invalidates somehow.
Rory (4 дня назад)
Invisible support is often better for a relationship than visible support, which might make the other feel self-conscious and doubtful of themselves (thoughts like, do I really look that incompetent?) Maybe anon impulses evolved to improve relationships.
chrissscottt (4 дня назад)
Maybe our anonymous philanthropic actions are solicited by the game winners, for instance Scishow asking for patreon donors. It would seem that Scishow is the biggest winner, followed by those who watch without donating followed by the patrons whom, I suppose get a boosted sense of self-worth.
Duncanslab (4 дня назад)
But thats just a theory, a game theory
Divine Linker (4 дня назад)
So its basically unconscious dog whistling?
Jerry Rupprecht (4 дня назад)
It’s because those who don’t are so f**king irritating.
J K (4 дня назад)
We donate to charity anonymously because we'll be bombarded with daily requests for more otherwise.
Matthew Mitchell (4 дня назад)
What if you just want to be nice for the sake of being nice?
xcfencer99 (4 дня назад)
And then there is doing good things and sending the public value to other people. particularly power-seeking people (lets call them Stan), this way Stan gets to be powerful and the good person (lets call him Dave) gets to do good things. And in a system where morals are how powerful people get and keep power Dave can force Stan to do 1 or 2 things that Dave really care about since Dave controls the public moral image that Stan needs to stay in power. Essentially Dave wants a few things that require power but not enough to justify actually seeking it. So he diverts power to a trusted power-seeker and ensures enough control to push through his pet project.
El Fixo (4 дня назад)
This is bullcrap. There is a thing called virtue signalling which is basically when people think that everything they do is for good, even if it is not, they want to brag about it. Among feminists it's virtuous to hate men, so male feminists try to signal how much they hate themselves in order to hopefully get rewarded with getting laid. Anonymously donating is maybe because some people just want to help other people, not to make a name for themselves. There is a reason people do not brag about doing "good" things and that is because it will make them seem pretentious or narcissistic.
Pusalieth (4 дня назад)
Let me help... Point 1: Matthew 5, don't let your left hand see what your right hand does. Point 2: Everyone is created in Jesus's image, and therefore those who conform, are fulfilling their purpose the most. There, time and dollars saved.
WHY IS GAMORA?! (4 дня назад)
People start questioning your motives if they know that you knew lots of others were going to see the good deed you did. Basically, they might think you did what you did because of the attention you would get from it. Or you don't want to question your own motives and be more proud of what you did if you do it anonymously.
Saumya Shah (4 дня назад)
Please congratulate Olivia!
L Blueful (5 дней назад)
In my opinion your style and way of presentation in this video was amazing! It made everything really comprehensible and interesting. Thank you for your work!
Schrödinger's Cat (5 дней назад)
It doesn't seem like respecting humbleness is the norm, though. Aren't there plenty of people who admire posturing, confidence, and/or boasting? I'm curious what ratio of the population is adverse to overt narcissism compared to those who find it attractive or consider it a positive trait -- It'd be nice to have studies done on this proportion and identify trends towards one or the other, if any.
Angry Kittens (5 дней назад)
I donated $10 to charity once. But SHUSH don't tell anyone. I'll only "accidentally" reveal it when I meet the man of my dreams.
Draxion (5 дней назад)
But hey, that's just a theory, *A Game Theory!*
Bonnie Bobeck (5 дней назад)
ghastly guts (5 дней назад)
To look cool of course!
maria paz (5 дней назад)
This estrategy doesnt work if you are really good at hiding your good deeds.
ForestSwampDudeMan (5 дней назад)
or a good deed is just a good deed
Linden Bree (5 дней назад)
Eh... I usually hide good deeds because I don't want the attention for doing something average. Getting praise and thanks and congrats for just returning a lost item, making a donation, getting great grades or whatever... it's annoying. Like, this is just my standard behaviour, don't reward it like it's some special circumstance. You've gone and made it weird when you do that. Aside from that, if I help someone out publicly, other people might expect me to help them. But I can't always do that and I don't need the pressure of people /expecting/ good things from me all the time. tl;dr: Getting praise for a good deed that really isn't a big deal is awkward, and people act entitled to your assistance if they hear you're a "good" or "helpful" person.
Shaodow Knight (5 дней назад)
Why is Game Theory in my sci show video? Matpat what u do?
suhas suhas (5 дней назад)
I wanted the scishow team to make video on why we feel jealous and hatred sometimes on someone without knowing them personally but just by their behaviour.
Robb403 (5 дней назад)
I can simplify this with one of Murphy's Laws, 'No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.' We live in a society where people are forced to compete for attention and resources, if you do something generous you have to keep it down low or risk being targeted by opportunists who view it as an exploitable weakness. If you have a talent for fixing cars and you help out a friend in need by repairing their brakes, guess who gets called on when their car won't start. Be a generous donor in church and you get targeted when the pastor needs a new Lexus. Donate to charities and suddenly your mailbox is inundated by people begging for money. There are even companies that specialize in providing lists to charitable groups. If you are generous at work, everybody dumps on you when they need help. The more you do for your family, the more they expect you to do. So, do good deeds. But, stay humble.
FriedEgg (5 дней назад)
If you draw attention to your good deed does that not make it seem more like the exception rather than the rule? Like you did something that was out of character, was hard work for you and you need rewarding.
Patchworkz (5 дней назад)
personally, if/when I do or try to do something kind. I do so because 1 I have the ability & 2 some one can use or needs what I can give or do. It is not for recognition or praise( disgusting & self-serving), but because I have been given the opportunity to do something even if small to change 1 little thing. For me, I just want to know I have tried.
Digital Void (5 дней назад)
What? Have you even been on YouTube/Facebook?
Michael Gainey (5 дней назад)
Matthew 6 (from the Bible): “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." I'm an atheist and I'll go one step further: Do good deeds even if there is no god to see them. Do them for the benefit of humanity, the earth, and all creatures on it. Advertising good deeds taints the purity of that motive.
Michael Gainey (5 дней назад)
There are 7 Army Values in the United States Army. One of them is "Selfless Service." It means, serve your country (and your fellow Soldiers) without expecting a reward (including recognition). But on the other hand, a "decorated" Soldier in his dress uniform has lapels covered with colorful awards -- a public display of good deeds. Personally, I prefer the sentiment embodied in "Selfless Service".
Matt Ryu (5 дней назад)
Are these behaviours natural to all humans or are they from culture? Modesty has definitely gone down over time so I doubt it’s natural.
Dark Twisted Lady (5 дней назад)
If you DON'T follow this social rule, there's a chance you've got a neurological condition like, say, executive function disorder, a.k.a adhd.
Helicondrummer (5 дней назад)
I clicked like on this video because I'm super awesome. Please pay attention to me... yeah no one wants to be like that if they have any social awareness.
Anton-Constantin (5 дней назад)
I think people hate me because of my paintings and drawings, they are jealous and they think I am better, because I have that, but I don't have many things, that most people do. I don't know what to do.
Anton-Constantin (5 дней назад)
Sometimes, people think that someone else has more than them, when in reality, they don't.
steef4000000 (5 дней назад)
But what about simply donating to charity because you believe it's a good cause that deserve's the support
palmomki (5 дней назад)
Social scientists turning to a mathematical model so complicated that this video didn't even try to explain it, in order to find a """"scientific"""" explanation of what most people already understood. Great.
Columini (5 дней назад)
Here is a theory : Hiding your good deeds might lead people into overestimating the number of good deeds that you did. For exemple, suppose you've done 20 good deeds. - If you're a bragger, I'll most likely know about those 20 good deeds but I will assume that there are no hidden ones so I'll estimate your number of good deeds to about 20. - If you're not a bragger, I'll assume that there might be some good deeds that I don't know about so : 1) If you hide your good deeds too well, maybe I'll learn about 5 of those and estimate that you might have done about 15 good deeds While you've done 20 which isn't good. 2) If you hide your good deeds but I eventually find out about most of them, then maybe I'll know about 15 of your good deeds and estimate that you might have about 10 more hidden ones. Therfore I might estimate your total number of good deeds to about 25 which is more than the real number. It's just like in poker, if you're never bluffing I'll always have a good estimate of your hand. but if you do bluff sometimes, then sometimes I might overestimate the value of your hand. So if you hide your good deeds not too well and I find out about most of them, it might lead me into thinking that you're a better personne that what you actually are.
seasong (5 дней назад)
Am I the only one that donates to help people and not to impress others?
HappyTheSandwich (5 дней назад)
what exactly happens when you lose your voice
Pewien Kurczak (5 дней назад)
Because no good deed goes unpunished. 😉
CelesteofOz (5 дней назад)
So why do we act like we aren't interested when we are really attracted to someone?? I find it easy to flirt with someone I don't really care about - but if I'm really attracted I can barely function in their presence - wtf.
chickenmonger123 (5 дней назад)
I think ultimately it’s action plus intention. Positive action plus positive intention is good. Negative action plus negative intention is bad. And in my opinion the other two options are bad as well. But people think differently about them.
Nr2reaper (5 дней назад)
Confirmation bias much? This whole video you assume people do things for themselves, and only themselves. Apparently people who know of their success (compared to others) and wish to help others doesn't exist.
MrDosonhai (4 дня назад)
Please use less acronyms, such as "keep things on the D.L". As a foreigner, I have to use extra energy and time to know what D.L means, which is an unfair advantage to foreign learners.
neta malka (5 дней назад)
because good guys finish last
C.O. Jones (5 дней назад)
Are you kidding? Most people loudly trumpet their own praises. Disgusting.
Cameron Alexander (5 дней назад)
Be humble, sit down
Michael Harig Jr (5 дней назад)
what would it be called if I was just raised Catholic? & lead to believe that it is wrong to be acknowledged? I just remember watching an episode of that FBI show with the mathematician & an episode of MASH where the characters families had raised them to believe it to be wrong to boast about being generous.
David Marley (5 дней назад)
It's kind of a quality over quantity thing. Would you rather have 100 people passively notice something about you, or have a handful of people raving about it because it's also their favorite.

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