liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Neural Underpinnings of the Identifiable Victim Effect: Affect Shifts Preferences for Giving
Stanford University, CA USA .
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Decis Research, OR USA .
Stanford University, CA USA .
2013 (English)In: Journal of Neuroscience, ISSN 0270-6474, E-ISSN 1529-2401, Vol. 33, no 43, 17188-17196 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The "identifiable victim effect" refers to peoples tendency to preferentially give to identified versus anonymous victims of misfortune, and has been proposed to partly depend on affect. By soliciting charitable donations from human subjects during behavioral and neural (i.e., functional magnetic resonance imaging) experiments, we sought to determine whether and how affect might promote the identifiable victim effect. Behaviorally, subjects gave more to orphans depicted by photographs versus silhouettes, and their shift in preferences was mediated by photograph-induced feelings of positive arousal, but not negative arousal. Neurally, while photographs versus silhouettes elicited activity in widespread circuits associated with facial and affective processing, only nucleus accumbens activity predicted and could statistically account for increased donations. Together, these findings suggest that presenting evaluable identifiable information can recruit positive arousal, which then promotes giving. We propose that affect elicited by identifiable stimuli can compel people to give more to strangers, even despite costs to the self.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Society for Neuroscience , 2013. Vol. 33, no 43, 17188-17196 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-101386DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2348-13.2013ISI: 000326088500032OAI: diva2:666376

Funding Agencies|Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE)||National Institutes of Health|5T32MH020006-15|National Science Foundation|SES-1024808SES-1227729|

Available from: 2013-11-22 Created: 2013-11-21 Last updated: 2013-11-22

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Västfjäll, Daniel
By organisation
PsychologyFaculty of Arts and Sciences
In the same journal
Journal of Neuroscience
Social Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 27 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link