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ERIC Number: EJ797044
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0749-5978
Sympathy and Callousness: The Impact of Deliberative Thought on Donations to Identifiable and Statistical Victims
Small, Deborah A.; Loewenstein, George; Slovic, Paul
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, v102 n2 p143-153 Mar 2007
When donating to charitable causes, people do not value lives consistently. Money is often concentrated on a single victim even though more people would be helped, if resources were dispersed or spent protecting future victims. We examine the impact of deliberating about donation decisions on generosity. In a series of field experiments, we show that teaching or priming people to recognize the discrepancy in giving toward identifiable and statistical victims has perverse effects: individuals give less to identifiable victims but do not increase giving to statistical victims, resulting in an overall reduction in caring and giving. Thus, it appears that, when thinking deliberatively, people discount sympathy towards identifiable victims but fail to generate sympathy toward statistical victims. (Contains 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A