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Karma Has Been Scientifically Proven

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posted on May, 28 2011 @ 01:20 AM
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Science is now explaining an ancient practice called Karma. Students were looking for scientific proof of its existence. University students in Toronto Ontario conducted the study on more than 700 individuals; below are the results


TORONTO, May 17, 2011 – Practicing small acts of kindness will make you a happier person, and the boost in mood stays with you for months, according to research out of York University.

More than 700 people took part in a study which charted the effects of being nice to others, in small doses, over the course of a week. Researchers asked participants to act compassionately towards someone for 5-15 minutes a day, by actively helping or interacting with them in a supportive and considerate manner. Six months later, participants reported increased happiness and self-esteem.

“The concept of compassion and kindness resonates with so many religious traditions, yet it has received little empirical evidence until recently,” says lead author Myriam Mongrain, associate professor of psychology in York’s Faculty of Health. “What’s amazing is that the time investment required for these changes to occur is so small. We’re talking about mere minutes a day,” she says.

Participants’ levels of depression, happiness, and self-esteem were assessed at the study’s onset, and at four subsequent points over the following six months; those in the compassionate condition reported significantly greater increases in self-esteem and happiness at six months compared to those in the control group.

So why does doing good for others make us feel good about ourselves?

“The simplest answer is that doing noble, charitable acts make us feel better about ourselves. We reaffirm that we are ‘good,’ which is a highly-valued trait in our society. It is also possible that being kind to others may help us be kind to ourselves,” Mongrain says. She notes that previous studies have demonstrated a causal relationship between compassionate behaviours and charitable self-evaluations.

“Compassion cuts both ways,” she says. “If you make a conscious decision to not be so hard on others, it becomes easier to not be so hard on yourself. Furthermore, providing support to others often means that we will get support back. That is why caring for and helping others may be the best possible thing we can do for ourselves. On a less selfish level, there is something intrinsically satisfying about helping others and witnessing their gratitude,” says Mongrain.

Not surprisingly, research has also shown that compassionate activities increase the level of meaning in one’s life, which in turn elevates levels of happiness.

Researchers expected that those with needy personalities would experience greater reductions in depressive symptoms and greater increases in happiness and self-esteem as a result of being kind to others.

“We hypothesized this would occur as a result of the reassurance [needy personalities] might extract from positive exchanges with others,” Mongrain says. “We did see some reduction in depressive symptoms for anxiously attached individuals, but further research is needed to see if there is any long-term benefit.”

The study, “Practicing Compassion Increases Happiness and Self-Esteem,” is forthcoming in the spring issue of the Journal of Happiness Studies. It is co-authored by York University researchers Jacqueline Chin and Leah Shapira. The research was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

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York University is the leading interdisciplinary research and teaching university in Canada. York offers a modern, academic experience at the undergraduate and graduate level in Toronto, Canada’s most international city. The third largest university in the country, York is host to a dynamic academic community of 50,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, as well as 200,000 alumni worldwide. York’s 10 Faculties and 28 research centres conduct ambitious, groundbreaking research that is interdisciplinary, cutting across traditional academic boundaries. This distinctive and collaborative approach is preparing students for the future and bringing fresh insights and solutions to real-world challenges. York University is an autonomous, not-for-profit corporation.


htt p://news.yorku.ca/2011/05/17/scientific-proof-for-karma-york-u-study-finds-small-acts-of-kindness-have-big-impact-on-emotional-well-being/[editb y]edit on 28-5-2011 by inanna1234 because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 28 2011 @ 01:31 AM
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reply to post by inanna1234
 

Uh, sorry bud, but Karma isn't an "ancient practice," it's a teaching. And this experiment does very little to "prove" it. No one who has experienced the effects of what some call "karma" would need proof, though.

The general phenomenon is known by many names to many peoples. But I don't see science going there any time soon, because it involves reincarnation, which they aren't cool with, yet.

The study makes a good point on its own merits. Be good to people. You'll benefit in the process.

But "karma" is a bit more involved, as it includes factors of unawareness that most people don't know how to explain or deal with.

Keep searching!


+1 more 
posted on May, 28 2011 @ 01:31 AM
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I can't believe people need scientific proof that doing good for others will do good for you.



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 01:36 AM
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reply to post by inanna1234
 


Dear inanna1234

So guys if you would like to feel good all next week send these poor children a dollar on paypal.

www.hiv-aids-kids.org...

They all have HIV/AIDS and are orphaned.



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 01:40 AM
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Originally posted by 90percent10less
I can't believe people need scientific proof that doing good for others will do good for you.

You would be suprised!



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 01:46 AM
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Originally posted by l_e_cox
reply to post by inanna1234
 

Uh, sorry bud, but Karma isn't an "ancient practice," it's a teaching. And this experiment does very little to "prove" it. No one who has experienced the effects of what some call "karma" would need proof, though.

The general phenomenon is known by many names to many peoples. But I don't see science going there any time soon, because it involves reincarnation, which they aren't cool with, yet.

The study makes a good point on its own merits. Be good to people. You'll benefit in the process.

But "karma" is a bit more involved, as it includes factors of unawareness that most people don't know how to explain or deal with.

Keep searching!


I think by Karma the researchers here mean 'If you do good, it comes back to you' ' If you do bad, it comes back to you'(in this life time). They’re only just beginning to touch the subject and are beginning to do more research. I don’t know why you’re knocking the researchers here; they are even finding correlations to curing depression and anxiety in some (more research has to be done). I doubt they will get into past lives etc. because there is no scientific proof of past lives. You would first have to prove that theory before proving karma from past lives affect us now.
So far they have only tested and proven that if you take 5 to 10 minutes out of your day to help others and do good, you will feel better emotionally and be happier overall



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 01:47 AM
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well i guess the more popular this whole karma thing gets could result in a bunch of ppl being nice to each other.

so yea, it could work... but the reincarnation thing is a problem.

edit: i mean, why even have the reincarnation bit included, just be nice to everyone, that's what i do.
edit on 28-5-2011 by vjr1113 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 01:49 AM
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Originally posted by MAC269
reply to post by inanna1234
 


Dear inanna1234

So guys if you would like to feel good all next week send these poor children a dollar on paypal.

www.hiv-aids-kids.org...

They all have HIV/AIDS and are orphaned.

I think it involved actually going out of your way for 5-10 minutes to be nice to people (every single day). I don't think clicking a button for a second once a week is really what these researchers were talking about.



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 01:50 AM
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I don't think what they are proving is 'karma', but rather the effects that conscious thoughts have on the body.

This is all the proof I need of said thoughts and effects...




posted on May, 28 2011 @ 01:52 AM
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Originally posted by scojak
I don't think what they are proving is 'karma', but rather the effects that conscious thoughts have on the body.

This is all the proof I need of said thoughts and effects...




Maybe they just call it Karma to attract attention? I don't think they were referring to conscious thought though because they are referring to actually DOING something. You have to physically go out of your way to be nice to people to reap the rewards.
If it was conscious thought and more cognitive wouldn't the process be more cognition and less doing?

edit on 28-5-2011 by inanna1234 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 01:52 AM
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Originally posted by 90percent10less
I can't believe people need scientific proof that doing good for others will do good for you.


Its not really about the fact that we NEED proof.
The Buddha taught that people should always research what they have been taught, don't just learn things and take the world for it, actually practice them and learn ask much as you can.



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 01:59 AM
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Originally posted by vjr1113
well i guess the more popular this whole karma thing gets could result in a bunch of ppl being nice to each other.

so yea, it could work... but the reincarnation thing is a problem.

edit: i mean, why even have the reincarnation bit included, just be nice to everyone, that's what i do.
edit on 28-5-2011 by vjr1113 because: (no reason given)


Exactly!



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 02:00 AM
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reply to post by inanna1234
 

Sorry, I was being a little rough in my earlier post. I understand that there are different levels that this research can be appreciated from.

But there IS scientific evidence for past lives. It's laying all over the place. Ever heard of Ian Stevenson?

For a lot of people I realize that learning to help others would be an enormous advance in their level of awareness.

But it doesn't stop there. There's a lot more to learn after that!



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 02:03 AM
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Hmmm going out of your way to be kind and help others will make you happier, maybe it will make you happier for a short while before everyone around you takes you for a mug. In my experience the more you do to help people the more they "expect" your help. I do live in London though so my perceptions might be a bit skewed by life in the rat race because I can't remember country folks from my youth being the same.



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 02:04 AM
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reply to post by inanna1234
 


i realize this is just an experiment but i think its sending the wrong message...


Researchers asked participants to act compassionately towards someone for 5-15 minutes a day, by actively helping or interacting with them in a supportive and considerate manner. Six months later, participants reported increased happiness and self-esteem.


Soo...they're basically saying just be nice to someone for 15 minutes a day... and you'll feel happier.

Thus somehow excusing people from how they "usually" treat others...

Why can't people just treat everyone as they would like to be treated every day of their lives? I mean this "golden rule" has litterally been around for damn close to 2000 years yet in all this time most people still haven't figured it out?

Karma is very real, and its easy to prove.

It seems to me this is just another excuse to reinforce the fact that people tend to be kind to others "once in a while" or when its convienent or even when they can benifit from it.... then not give a sh!t about people for the rest of their day.

Its kinda sad really


edit on 28-5-2011 by Akragon because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 02:07 AM
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reply to post by inanna1234
 


Dear inanna1234

Between you and me I could not care less what they where talking about but if people send a few dollars it will go a long way to saving these children’s lives.

And if that doesn’t do your karma good then nothing will.

Remember www.hiv-aids-kids.org...



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 02:09 AM
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Originally posted by l_e_cox
reply to post by inanna1234
 

Sorry, I was being a little rough in my earlier post. I understand that there are different levels that this research can be appreciated from.

But there IS scientific evidence for past lives. It's laying all over the place. Ever heard of Ian Stevenson?

For a lot of people I realize that learning to help others would be an enormous advance in their level of awareness.

But it doesn't stop there. There's a lot more to learn after that!

I honestly believe in past lives but I still don't think there is enough scientific research out there yet to prove it. I understand why a major University in Canada wouldn't include it in their study (just yet). Who knows though, as they research more about Karma and the effects that doing good vs. doing bad has on us, they may go down that road in the future. I think it’s cool that there taking it really seriously and researching it.
I’ve never heard of Ian Stevenson but I’m unsure if the scientific community as a whole accepts his research. If the University wants to keep their research valid, they can’t include sources that aren’t taken seriously in their work. It would just discredit the research the University is doing to include something from an unreliable source.



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 02:13 AM
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Originally posted by Akragon
reply to post by inanna1234
 


i realize this is just an experiment but i think its sending the wrong message...


Researchers asked participants to act compassionately towards someone for 5-15 minutes a day, by actively helping or interacting with them in a supportive and considerate manner. Six months later, participants reported increased happiness and self-esteem.


Soo...they're basically saying just be nice to someone for 15 minutes a day... and you'll feel happier.

Thus somehow excusing people from how they "usually" treat others...

Why can't people just treat everyone as they would like to be treated every day of their lives? I mean this "golden rule" has litterally been around for damn close to 2000 years yet in all this time most people still haven't figured it out?

Karma is very real, and its easy to prove.

It seems to me this is just another excuse to reinforce the fact that people tend to be kind to others "once in a while" or when its convienent or even when they can benifit from it.... then not give a sh!t about people for the rest of their day.

Its kinda sad really


edit on 28-5-2011 by Akragon because: (no reason given)

Honestly look around you, people treat people badly all the time! People are forgetting how important it is to be kind to others (now more then ever). Even if it only gets people being kind for part of there day, who otherwise wouldn't be kind is a big step. It's like a butterfly effect.



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 02:16 AM
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Originally posted by JustXeno
Hmmm going out of your way to be kind and help others will make you happier, maybe it will make you happier for a short while before everyone around you takes you for a mug. In my experience the more you do to help people the more they "expect" your help. I do live in London though so my perceptions might be a bit skewed by life in the rat race because I can't remember country folks from my youth being the same.

It's sad to hear you have been taken advantage of for your kindness. Remember that their is a difference between being kind and letting someone walk over you. I hope your past experience don't make you jaded but you take them as a learning experience.



posted on May, 28 2011 @ 02:24 AM
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Originally posted by inanna1234
Maybe they just call it Karma to attract attention?

Good point considering the only time 'karma' is mentioned is in the title.

I don't think they were referring to conscious thought though because they are referring to actually DOING something. You have to physically go out of your way to be nice to people to reap the rewards.
If it was conscious thought and more cognitive wouldn't the process be more cognition and less doing?

I don't think they have much interest in studying how a physical action affects the body. It's not really a mystery that being active is good for the body. The article said the participants just had to "act compassionately towards someone" which doesn't have to be anything more than engaging in a positive conversation, which pertains much more to a conscious thought process, not physical activity. The fact that the task is to involve another person has nothing to do with the experiment other than creating a more concrete scenario for acting compassionately. It's much tougher to act compassionately when there is nothing to show compassion to, wouldn't you agree? You could create the same results using simple meditation rather than human interaction, but that requires people with strong minds, and it's much more difficult to find, gather and test people with such a criteria.
edit on 5/28/2011 by scojak because: (no reason given)



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