There has always been a debate between nice guys and bad boys and who comes first in life and love. The allure of a bad boy's appetite for danger is hard to resist, while the nice guy who's usually thought of as not having a backbone... not so much. Contrary to the popular myth, nice guys undoubtedly finish first because their niceness, forgiveness, and non-envious behavior pays off in life, according to AsapScience’s latest video “Nice Guys Finish First.”

A version of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, a game theory that shows why two purely “rational” individuals might not cooperate even if it appears that it is in their best interests, helps support the idea that the nice and non-avaricious individual will come out on top. The gist of the game is each player gets two cards, one says “Cooperate,” and the other says “Defect.” In each round, each player chooses and plays one card, face-down and flips the card to see what happens. If both players chose to “Cooperate,” they both win $300. If both players chose to play “Defect,” they both lose $10. However, if one player chooses to play “Cooperate” and the other plays “Defect,” the person who plays “Defect” wins $500, and the person who plays “Cooperate” loses $100.

The obvious dilemma here is that if both players play their smartest move, they will always lose while knowing if they had simply cooperated they could have won $300. Therefore, a group of scientists created computer simulations to analyze and discover which strategy is the best to win the most money over hundreds of turns. The winner was the one called “tit for tat,” which was programmed to always start cooperative and after that copy the opponent’s last move. This method prevents from anyone getting duped and leads to the highest earnings.

Interestingly, the top ranked strategies were almost all the ones that begin with what scientists classified as “niceness.” Strategies that were quick to forgive others for deceiving them, and the ones that were non-envious, or happy when others won just as much money were key factors to success. “That is, they would never be the first to defect, and would always cooperate first,” Mitchell Moffitt, co-creator of the AsapSCIENCE series says in the video.

This behavior pays in the real world from an evolutionary perspective. Animals which contain genes that promote nice behavior are likely to have more offspring. This is due to the underlying code for altruistic behavior — “you help me and I’ll help you.” We all tend to do better.

Remember, while some mean, cut-throat, or envious people may gain something from temporarily exploiting others, it is not only nice guys but nice people who really do finish first in life.