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Mental imagery, impact, and affect: A mediation model for charitable giving

Dickert, Stephan and Kleber, Janet and Västfjäll, Daniel and Slovic, Paul (2016) Mental imagery, impact, and affect: A mediation model for charitable giving. PLoS ONE, 11 (2). pp. 1-15. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

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 people's 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. (authors' abstract)

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This material is based upon work supported by the US National Science Foundation under Grant No. SES-1227729, and the Swedish Research Council (VR). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Divisions: Departments > Marketing > Marketing und KonsumentInnenforschung
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2016 15:24
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2016 15:28
Related URLs:
FIDES Link: https://bach.wu.ac.at/d/research/results/75634/
URI: http://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/4882

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