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Friends of Victims: Personal Experience and Prosocial Behavior

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  • Deborah A. Small
  • Uri Simonsohn
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    Abstract

    Why do different people give to different causes? We show that the sympathy inherent to a close relationship with a victim extends to other victims suffering from the same misfortunes that have afflicted their friends and loved ones. Both sympathy and donations are greater among those related to a victim, and they are greater among those in a communal relationship as compared to those in an exchange relationship. Experiments that control for information support causality and rule out the alternative explanation that any effect is driven by the information advantage possessed by friends of victims. (c) 2007 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..

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    File URL: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/527268
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 (December)
    Pages: 532-542

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:35:y:2008:i:3:p:532-542

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JCR/

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    Cited by:
    1. Lin-Healy, Fern & Small, Deborah A., 2012. "Cheapened altruism: Discounting personally affected prosocial actors," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 269-274.
    2. Al-Ubaydli, Omar & Yeomans, Mike, 2014. "Do people donate more when they perceive a single beneficiary whom they know? A field experimental test of the identifiability effect," MPRA Paper 55382, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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