Are you a better person if you get things done alone?

November 14, 2016, 5:44 PM GMT+0

Most Americans admire someone who gets things done without help more than someone who receives help from many people

The challenge faced by every parent is trying to figure out exactly how much help to give their offspring. Too much and you nurture dependence, too little and they may never develop the tools they need to meet challenges independently. Among adults, however, attitudes are a lot clearer, and despite the advice of mental health professionals, people largely tend to admire self-sufficiency.

Research from YouGov shows that Americans are noticeably more likely to say that someone who gets things done by themselves is a better person (57%) than someone who receives help from many people (17%). Over-65s (69%) are the most likely group, along with Republicans (68%), to say that people who get things done alone are better people, but a majority of every demographic except people aged 30 to 44 (42%) also agree with the sentiment.

There is a significant divide on what is better advice for people, though. Overall, 34% of Americans think it is better if people get help from others to deal with their problems, while 49% say that it is best to try and deal with their problems alone. On this issue the partisan divide is more pronounced. Democrats are narrowly more likely to say that it is better to get help (45% to 41%) but Republicans clearly think it is best to deal with problems alone.