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Mental Imagery, Impact, and Affect: A Mediation Model for Charitable Giving
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. WU Vienna University of Econ and Business, Austria.
WU Vienna University of Econ and Business, Austria; Alpen Adria University of Klagenfurt, Austria.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Decis Research, OR USA.
Decis Research, OR USA; University of Oregon, OR 97403 USA.
2016 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 11, no 2, e0148274- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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Abstract [en]

One of the puzzling phenomena in philanthropy is that people can show strong compassion for identified individual victims but remain unmoved by catastrophes that affect large numbers of victims. Two prominent findings in research on charitable giving reflect this idiosyncrasy: The (1) identified victim and (2) victim number effects. The first of these suggests that identifying victims increases donations and the second refers to the finding that peoples willingness to donate often decreases as the number of victims increases. While these effects have been documented in the literature, their underlying psychological processes need further study. We propose a model in which identified victim and victim number effects operate through different cognitive and affective mechanisms. In two experiments we present empirical evidence for such a model and show that different affective motivations (donor-focused vs. victim-focused feelings) are related to the cognitive processes of impact judgments and mental imagery. Moreover, we argue that different mediation pathways exist for identifiability and victim number effects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE , 2016. Vol. 11, no 2, e0148274- p.
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Basic Medicine
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URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-125809DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148274ISI: 000370038400027PubMedID: 26859848OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-125809DiVA: diva2:910253
Note

Funding Agencies|US National Science Foundation [SES-1227729]; Swedish Research Council (VR)

Available from: 2016-03-08 Created: 2016-03-04 Last updated: 2017-11-30

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Dickert, StephanVästfjäll, Daniel

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