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Greater Emotional Gain from Giving in Older Adults: Age-Related Positivity Bias in Charitable Giving
University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. University of Oregon, OR 97403 USA.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Vienna University of Econ and Business, Austria.
University of Oregon, OR 97403 USA.
2016 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 7Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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Abstract [en]

Older adults have been shown to avoid negative and prefer positive information to a higher extent than younger adults. This positivity bias influences their information processing as well as decision-making. We investigate age-related positivity bias in charitable giving in two studies. In Study 1 we examine motivational factors in monetary donations, while Study 2 focuses on the emotional effect of actual monetary donations. In Study 1, participants (n = 353, age range 20-74 years) were asked to rate their affect toward a person in need and then state how much money they would be willing to donate to help this person. In Study 2, participants (n = 108, age range 19-89) were asked to rate their affect toward a donation made a few days prior. Regression analysis was used to investigate whether or not the positivity bias influences the relationship between affect and donations. In Study 1, we found that older adults felt more sympathy and compassion and were less motivated by negative affect when compared to younger adults, who were motivated by both negative and positive affect. In Study 2, we found that the level of positive emotional reactions from monetary donations was higher in older participants compared to younger participants. We find support for an age-related positivity bias in charitable giving. This is true for motivation to make a future donation, as well as affective thinking about a previous donation. We conclude that older adults draw more positive affect from both the planning and outcome of monetary donations and hence benefit more from engaging in monetary charity than their younger counterparts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
FRONTIERS MEDIA SA , 2016. Vol. 7
Keyword [en]
charitable giving age; emotion; motivation; decision making
National Category
Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-130127DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00846ISI: 000377745300001PubMedID: 27378966OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-130127DiVA: diva2:948590
Note

Funding Agencies|National Science Foundations (NSF); Adlerbertska Forskningsstiftelsen; Swedish Research Council; Swedish Research Council for Health; Working Life and Welfare (FORTE)

Available from: 2016-07-12 Created: 2016-07-11 Last updated: 2017-11-28

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Västfjäll, DanielDickert, Stephan

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CiteExportLink to record
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