When it comes to prosocial behaviours, it turns out agreeable personalities are more likely to help strangers.

Linking willingness to help others to specific personalities, a new study found that agreeableness is one of the better predictors of prosocial behaviour.

“It is common for persons to experience distress on seeing a victim in need of help. That distress can lead some people to escape, and to run away from the victim,” said lead author Meara Habashi of the University of Iowa, adding “But distress does not need to block helping because it may be one first-appearing aspect of empathy. Distress can actually contribute to helping, but the way it contributes depends on personality.”

One major path linking personality to helping runs through empathy.