Reference-dependent sympathy

  title={Reference-dependent sympathy},
  author={Deborah A. Small},
  journal={Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes},
  • Deborah A. Small
  • Published 2010
  • Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Natural disasters and other traumatic events often draw a greater charitable response than do ongoing misfortunes, even those that may cause even more widespread misery, such as famine or malaria. Why is the response disproportionate to need? The notion of reference dependence critical to Prospect Theory (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979) maintains that self-utility, or benefit to self, is not absolute level of wealth but rather gain or loss relative to a reference point. Four studies show that… Expand
What are the most powerful predictors of charitable giving to victims of typhoon Haiyan: Prosocial traits, socio-demographic variables, or eye cues?
Abstract Major natural disasters often prompt charities to start rallying for extra donations. However, little is known about which variables predict disaster donations most strongly. Here we focusedExpand
Mental Imagery, Impact, and Affect: A Mediation Model for Charitable Giving
This work proposes a model in which identified victim and victim number effects operate through different cognitive and affective mechanisms and shows that different affective motivations are related to the cognitive processes of impact judgments and mental imagery. Expand
Social Identification and Corporate Irresponsibility: A Model of Stakeholder Punitive Intentions
Scholars hypothesize that retaliations against corporate social irresponsibility (CSI) are more likely when observers share the social identity of the victims. We present a model that explainsExpand
Sympathy Toward a Company Facing Disaster: Examining the Interaction Effect Between Internal Attribution and Role Similarity
In this article, we propose that bystanders who make a higher (as compared with lower) level of internal attributions for a disaster at another company (i.e., when they blame company management moreExpand
Concerned protesters: from compassion to retaliation
Purpose The purpose of the study is to outline the unique role of compassion in reactions to cases of irresponsible corporate behavior that present information about victims of these events.Expand
Scope insensitivity: The limits of intuitive valuation of human lives in public policy
A critical question for government officials, managers of NGOs, and politicians is how to respond to situations in which large numbers of lives are at risk. Theories in judgment and decision makingExpand
The Drivers of Corporate Philanthropic Catastrophe Response: The Community-Event-Firm Triad
I investigate the factors explaining the variance of firms helping communities in the aftermath of natural catastrophes with a theoretical model comprising firm-, community-, and event-specificExpand
Identity Bias in Negative Word of Mouth Following Irresponsible Corporate Behavior: A Research Model and Moderating Effects
Current research has documented how cases of irresponsible corporate behavior generate negative reactions from consumers and other stakeholders. Existing research, however, has not examinedExpand
The bystander effect in an N-person dictator game
Dozens of studies show that bystanders are less likely to help victims as bystander number increases. However, these studies model one particular situation, in which victims need only one helper.Expand
Helping one or helping many? A theoretical integration and meta-analytic review of the compassion fade literature
Researchers and practitioners in the area of charitable giving have long lamented the tendency to offer greater aid to one person who is suffering rather than to a large group with the same needs.Expand


The Scarecrow and the Tin Man: The Vicissitudes of Human Sympathy and Caring
Why do some victims elicit outpourings of sympathy from those who are unaffected, while others do not? The authors propose a theoretical framework for making sense of the vicissitudes of sympathyExpand
If I Look at the Mass I Will Never Act: Psychic Numbing and Genocide
Most people are caring and will exert great effort to rescue individual victims whose needy plight comes to their attention. These same good people, however, often become numbly indifferent to theExpand
Sympathy and callousness: The impact of deliberative thought on donations to identifiable and statistical victims.
When donating to charitable causes, people do not value lives consistently. Money is often concentrated on a single victim even though more people would be helped, if resources were dispersed orExpand
Helping a Victim or Helping the Victim: Altruism and Identifiability
Although it has been claimed that people care more about identifiable than statistical victims, demonstrating this “identifiable victim effect” has proven difficult because identification usuallyExpand
Immune neglect: a source of durability bias in affective forecasting.
The present experiments suggest that people neglect the psychological immune system when making affective forecasts. Expand
The singularity effect of identified victims in separate and joint evaluations
Abstract People’s greater willingness to help identified victims, relative to non-identified ones, was examined by eliciting real contributions to targets varying in singularity (a single individualExpand
The Empathy‐Prospect Model and the Choice to Help1
This paper presents a model of the cognitive processes that precede decisions to help another person. The empathy-prospect model predicts that potential helpers make decisions in much the same way asExpand
The life you save may be your own.
Within the sparse, apparently simple plot of the story, O’Connor constructs a world torn between renewal and emptiness, natural beauty and crass materialism, compassion and cruelty; the protagonist must choose between these extremes and attempt to experience the grace of God’s love. Expand
Insensitivity to the Value of Human Life: A Study of Psychophysical Numbing
A fundamental principle of psychophysics is that people's ability to discriminate change in a physical stimulus diminishes as the magnitude of the stimulus increases. We find that people also exhibitExpand
Psychophysical Numbing: When Lives Are Valued Less as the Lives at Risk Increase
Costly life-saving interventions can often be described not only in terms of the number of lives that may be saved but also in terms of the proportion of lives saved out of some total number at risk.Expand