Choice-justifications after allocating resources in helping dilemmas

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7 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

How do donors reason and justify their choices when faced with dilemmas in a charitable context? In two studies, Swedish students were confronted with helping dilemmas based on the identifiable victim effect, the proportion dominance effect and the ingroup effect. Each dilemma consisted of two comparable charity projects and participants were asked to choose one project over the other. They were then asked to provide justifications of their choice by stating the relative importance of different types of reasons. When faced with an identified victim dilemma, participants did not choose the project including an identified victim more often than the project framed statistically, but those who did emphasized emotional reasons (e.g., “Because I had more empathic feelings”), but not any other reasons, more than those choosing the statistical project. When faced with a Proportion dominance dilemma, participants more often chose the project with a high rescue proportion (e.g., you can save 100% out of 30) than the project with a low rescue proportion (e.g., you can save 4% out of 800), and those who did emphasized efficacy reasons (e.g., “Because my money can make a greater difference there”), but no other reasons, more than those favoring the low recue proportion project. Finally, when faced with an Ingroup dilemma, participants more often chose the project that could help ingroup-victims over the project that could help outgroup victims, and those who did emphasized responsibility reasons (e.g., “Because I have a greater obligation”), but no other reasons, more than those favoring outgroup projects. These results are consistent with and extend previous findings about how different helping effects are related to different psychological processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-80
Number of pages21
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Volume12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 30

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Sciences

Keywords

  • charitable giving
  • choice-justifications
  • decision modes
  • helping dilemma
  • identifiable victim effect
  • ingroup effect
  • proportion dominance effect

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