Last week Live Science carried an article which indicates that acts of kindness can boost willpower and physical strength.
The results, based on three experiments, show that those who did good deeds or even just envisioned themselves acting charitably, were able to hold a weight or squeeze a hand grip significantly longer than those who didn't perform or think about such deeds.
All good stuff but it seems that evil acts confer even greater “powers”
In one experiment, 91 volunteers were asked to hold a five-pound (about 2.3-kilogram) weight for as long as they could, and then given $1 for their efforts. About half were asked if they would like to donate their dollar to UNICEF. Everyone in this group agreed to donate, while those not asked of course didn't donate.
All participants were then asked to hold the weight a second time. Those who had donated to charity were able to hold the weight for an average of 53 seconds, or 7 seconds longer than those who did not donate.
In a second experiment with 151 volunteers, participants held the weight while they wrote a fictional story featuring themselves either helping, harming or not causing impact on another person. Those who wrote about helping someone were able to hold the weight 5 seconds longer than those who wrote about a neutral interaction. Envisioning evil acts seemed to confer even more strength — those who thought about harming someone else held the weight about 8 seconds longer.
Well there you have it.. to get extra power, help an old lady across the road but to push the envelope? ......Sorry pup!