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Ally or adversary: The effect of identifiability in inter-group conflict situations

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  • Ritov, Ilana
  • Kogut, Tehila
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    Abstract

    People's tendency to be more generous towards identifiable victims than towards unidentifiable or statistical victims is known as the identifiable victim effect. Recent research (Kogut & Ritov, 2007) called the generality of the effect into question, showing that in cross-national contexts, identifiability affects mostly willingness to help victims belonging to one's 'in-group'. The present research extends the investigation by examining the identifiability effect in inter-group conflict situations. In three experiments, employing hypothetical contributions as well as real monetary allocation in a dictator-game, we found that identifiability increased generosity towards a member of the adversary group, but it decreased generosity towards a member of one's own group. Possible mechanisms underlying this interaction are discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 116 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (September)
    Pages: 96-103

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:116:y:2011:i:1:p:96-103

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp

    Related research

    Keywords: Identifiable victim Charitable giving;

    References

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    1. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3014, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Kogut, Tehila & Ritov, Ilana, 2005. "The singularity effect of identified victims in separate and joint evaluations," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 106-116, July.
    3. Small, Deborah A & Loewenstein, George, 2003. " Helping a Victim or Helping the Victim: Altruism and Identifiability," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 5-16, January.
    4. Jenni, Karen E & Loewenstein, George, 1997. "Explaining the "Identifiable Victim Effect."," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 235-57, May-June.
    5. Paul Slovic, 2007. ""If I look at the mass I will never act": Psychic numbing and genocide," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 2, pages 79-95, April.
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