Nearly 60 percent of the residents of Shanghai do not want to learn from Lei Feng, a cultural icon in the country who was ready to help the needy.
The newspaper did not say how many people responded to the poll. But it said nearly 60 percent of those who did said they feared they would cause trouble for themselves by helping others.
Quite a number of residents said they would not learn from Lei simply because they were not competent or had no time, according to the investigation.
Lei, who died at the age of 22 in 1962, had been a soldier of the People's Liberation Army of China. He was known as a selfless man who did good deeds all the time.
He achieved national fame and became the incarnation of earnestness and service in 1963 when the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong wrote "Follow the example of Comrade Lei Feng."