Donations in support of a charitable cause can create a conflict between moral intuitions (e.g., fulfilling moral obligations and helping as many individuals in need as possible) and the cost entailed by following one's moral intuitions (e.g., spending money). The present paper investigates this conflict by putting people in a situation in which they must choose whether to help three women by giving more money or help one woman by giving less. In addition, the paper uses the attraction effect paradigm to counteract the single victim effect and reduce the conflict. Experiment 1 demonstrates that in a two-alternative context the majority of participants choose to help one woman by giving €150 instead of helping three women by giving €450. Experiment 2 replicates this finding and highlights the role of emotion regulation strategies in the management of the emotional conflict arising in the two-alternative condition. In both studies, the introduction of a third, dominated alternative reduces the conflict and makes it easier to choose the programme asking for a higher donation and helping three women. Implications for charitable donations and the role of the conflict between moral intuitions and economic costs are discussed. © 2012 Copyright Psychology Press Ltd.

The emotional cost of charitable donations

Agnoli S.
2012

Abstract

Donations in support of a charitable cause can create a conflict between moral intuitions (e.g., fulfilling moral obligations and helping as many individuals in need as possible) and the cost entailed by following one's moral intuitions (e.g., spending money). The present paper investigates this conflict by putting people in a situation in which they must choose whether to help three women by giving more money or help one woman by giving less. In addition, the paper uses the attraction effect paradigm to counteract the single victim effect and reduce the conflict. Experiment 1 demonstrates that in a two-alternative context the majority of participants choose to help one woman by giving €150 instead of helping three women by giving €450. Experiment 2 replicates this finding and highlights the role of emotion regulation strategies in the management of the emotional conflict arising in the two-alternative condition. In both studies, the introduction of a third, dominated alternative reduces the conflict and makes it easier to choose the programme asking for a higher donation and helping three women. Implications for charitable donations and the role of the conflict between moral intuitions and economic costs are discussed. © 2012 Copyright Psychology Press Ltd.
Rubaltelli E.; Agnoli S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/725645
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