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When others cross psychological distance to help: Highlighting prosocial actions toward outgroups encourages philanthropy

Authors
Journal
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
0022-1031
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
48
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2011.07.003
Keywords
  • Helping
  • Prosocial
  • Social Distance
  • Volunteer
  • Philanthropy

Abstract

Abstract Prior research has found several factors that affect people's willingness to participate in philanthropy. In the present article, we explore whether people feel more inspired to engage in philanthropy after learning about individuals who help targets who are socially close or distant from those individuals. Specifically, we propose that when people learn about others who help socially distant (vs. close) targets, such prosocial actions will be more salient because it violates people's lay belief about distance and helping; therefore, people will be more attracted to the idea of engaging in prosocial actions after learning that prosocial actions have been directed toward socially distant (vs. close) targets. We present four experiments in support of our hypotheses.

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