Feel Good About Giving Back (read it on the Harvard Business School website)
Why Read It? Because social scientists have identified a host of ways in which charitable behavior can lead to benefits for the giver.
- Happier people give more. Giving causes increased happiness. These two relationships create a positive feedback loop ("with happier people giving more, getting happier, and giving even more").
- Advertising the emotional benefits of prosocial behavior might encourage individuals to give more.
- "Positive moods, whether experimentally induced or naturally occurring, have also been shown to facilitate helpful behavior in the workplace."
"If giving feels good, why not advertise the benefits of 'self-interested giving,' allowing people to experience that good feeling while increasing contributions to charity at the same time?"
Why Do We Give? (listen to the story on NPR)
Why Read It? Because the real reasons why people give to charity may seem counter-intuitive.
- The science of chairty took off in the 1990s. Meaning, psychologists began to start looking more closely at why people are motivated to give
- Last year, two researchers published "The Science of Giving". This book examines our quirky relationship to charity and, among other things, attempts to understand a puzzling psychological phenomena: "When people give to charity, they'll give far more money to a single suffering person than to a population of suffering people - which charity researcher Chris Olivola, of the University of Warwick, says doesn't make a lot of sense."
- You should be more interested in helping more people than fewer, right? But, that isn't how it works according to these researchers...Giving, then, is in part, an attempt to ward off disaster.
- Relatively few charitable organizations seem to be using the research available on giving. Although NPR's Alix Spiegel argues that they should: "Science now has a lot to say about when and why we give."
"People will give more when some type of physical discomfort - for example, running a marathon - is involved."
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