Numeracy as a precursor to pro-social behavior: The impact of numeracy and presentation format on the cognitive mechanisms underlying donation decisions
Donation requests often convey numerical information about the people in need. In two studies we investigated the effects of numeracy and presentation format on the underlying affective and cognitive mechanisms of donation decisions. In Study 1, participants were presented with information about a victim in need, either in a frequency format or in a percentage format. In Study 2, we manipulated the identifiability and number of target victims. Our results demonstrate that donations of individuals lower in numeracy were more susceptible to changes in numeric presentation format than those higher in numeracy. Importantly, the underlying mechanisms for donations differed by numeracy. Whereas the mental image of the victim influenced donation decisions of less numerate people only, the estimated impact of a donation was positively correlated with donation amounts for both more and less numerate individuals.
Volume (Year): 6 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7 (October)
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