New York Magazine:
It is the giving-est time of year, and so it seems very timely indeed that the latest episode of “The Psychology Podcast” features a chat between University of Pennsylvania psychologists Scott Barry Kaufman and Adam Grant about Grant’s work on givers and takers. These are his terms for the people who enjoy being generous and helping others, and the people who are more motivated by personal gain; he wrote an entire book on the subject, published last year.
It’s safe to assume that most of us would probably rather interact with people closer to the giver than the taker end of that spectrum; Grant mentions that his research has found, not at all surprisingly, that most people would rather marry givers than takers. And although behaving generously toward others sounds very nice, we might hesitate to do so sometimes, perhaps especially in contexts where getting credit for stuff counts — like the workplace, for example. So when does being a “giver” morph into being a doormat? Kaufman posed this question to Grant, who answered this way:
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