Towards a measure of kindness: An exploration of a neglected interpersonal trait

David Canter, Donna Youngs, Miroslava Yaneva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Although a growing number of studies indicate the psychological benefits of Kindness no clear definition or distinct measure of Kindness is available. A framework for considering kindness was therefore developed and a 40 item self-report questionnaire (the kindness measure) produced from it. This was completed by a sample of 165 people differing in age, gender and occupation. Responses varied enough to indicate the measure is discriminating between people. Multivariate analysis indicated three distinct aspects of kindness: Benign Tolerance (BT), Empathetic Responsivity (ER), and Principled Proaction (PP). Central to these, a more fundamental form of Kindness was also identified, that we propose to call Core Kindness (CK), that contrasts with Psychopathy, as an important aspect of personality. Differences between men and women and younger and older people lend external validity to the kindness scales and bode well for future more detailed studies. Directions for future research are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


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