WELLNESS
11/22/2013 01:41 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Why We're Sometimes Kind Without Reason

Nick David via Getty Images

The eminent sociologist Erving Goffman suggested that life is a series of performances, in which we are all continually managing the impression we give other people. If this is so, then public spaces function like a stage in the same way that our own homes and living rooms do. Architecture, landscaping, the dimensions of the stage, and the other actors around us all offer cues about how we should perform and how we should treat one another.

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