The donor is in the details
AbstractRecent research finds that people respond more generously to individual victims described in detail than to equivalent statistical victims described in general terms. We propose that this “identified victim effect” is one manifestation of a more general phenomenon: a positive influence of tangible information on generosity. In three experiments, we find evidence for an “identified intervention effect”; providing tangible details about a charity’s interventions significantly increases donations to that charity. Although previous work described sympathy as the primary mediator between tangible information and giving, current mediational analyses show that the influence of tangible details can operate through donors’ perception that their contribution will have impact. Taken together with past work, the results suggest that tangible information of many types promotes generosity and can do so either via sympathy or via perceived impact. The ability of tangible information to increase impact points to new ways for charities to encourage generosity.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
Volume (Year): 120 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp
Decision making; Generosity; Charitable giving; Emotions; Impact;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
- 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.
- Dean Karlan & John List, 2006.
"Does price matter in charitable giving? Evidence from a large-scale natural field experiment,"
Natural Field Experiments
00279, The Field Experiments Website.
- Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2007. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1774-1793, December.
- Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2006. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," Working Papers 1, The Field Experiments Website.
- Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2006. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence From a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 12338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Karlan, Dean & List, John, 2006. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," Working Papers 13, Yale University, Department of Economics.
- Stephan Dickert & Paul Slovic, 2009. "Attentional mechanisms in the generation of sympathy," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 4(4), pages 297-306, June.
- Fetherstonhaugh, David, et al, 1997. "Insensitivity to the Value of Human Life: A Study of Psychophysical Numbing," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 283-300, May-June.
- 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.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S285-300, October.
- Bruno S. Frey & Iris Bohnet, 1999. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 335-339, March.
- 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.
- Baron, Jonathan, 1997. "Confusion of Relative and Absolute Risk in Valuation," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 301-9, May-June.
- Duncan, Brian, 2004. "A theory of impact philanthropy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2159-2180, August.
- Small, Deborah A. & Loewenstein, George & Slovic, Paul, 2007. "Sympathy and callousness: The impact of deliberative thought on donations to identifiable and statistical victims," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 143-153, March.
- Xinshu Zhao & John G. Lynch & Qimei Chen, 2010. "Reconsidering Baron and Kenny: Myths and Truths about Mediation Analysis," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(2), pages 197-206, 08.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.