Charitable donations represent a possible indirect way to face the social challenge of poverty with people donating a certain amount of money independently of their social status and social roles. As such, scholarly authors devoted to the study of charity and donating behavior have proposed several models following different perspectives to explain the motivational factors and the individual conditions affecting donating behavior. In the present study, we aim at contributing to the selfish altruism model by suggesting the effect of pseudoinefficacy as possible cognitive bias which may be detrimental for deciding to donate. On the one hand, the selfish altruism model has gained notable attention as a possible explanation of the decision-making process underlying donating behavior. This model suggests that people offer aid to receive something in return or to gain a personal advantage. Such a personal benefit can be seen as the individual sense of being morally satisfied, namely, warm-glow. That is, those who donate may feel higher levels of social esteem, gratitude and respect from others which are aspects feeding their warm-glow. Individual would decide to donate by the possibility to gain moral satisfaction rather than acting for the common good. On the other hand, according to cognitive psychology, pseudoinefficacy may affect donating behaviors as an illusion of inefficacy that arises when individuals can only help some people but not others who yet are equally in need. In this sense, the phenomenon of pseudoinefficacy contributes to the selfish altruism model as an explanation of the individuals’ emotions that may reduce donors’ warm-glow. Ultimately, we propose a critical and interdisciplinary review of donating behaviors model and propose a research agenda for further investigations. Given the widespread of poverty as linked to the worldwide changes (i.e., novel pandemic of Sars-Cov-2), theoretical indications and reflections on donating behavior represent a pragmatic and moral concern whose relevance rests in the potential applied implications.

Why donate and for what? The pseudoinefficacy bias in donating behavior

Francesco Tommasi
;
Sofia Morandini;Anna Maria Meneghini;Andrea Ceschi;Riccardo Sartori;Marija Gostimir
2022-01-01

Abstract

Charitable donations represent a possible indirect way to face the social challenge of poverty with people donating a certain amount of money independently of their social status and social roles. As such, scholarly authors devoted to the study of charity and donating behavior have proposed several models following different perspectives to explain the motivational factors and the individual conditions affecting donating behavior. In the present study, we aim at contributing to the selfish altruism model by suggesting the effect of pseudoinefficacy as possible cognitive bias which may be detrimental for deciding to donate. On the one hand, the selfish altruism model has gained notable attention as a possible explanation of the decision-making process underlying donating behavior. This model suggests that people offer aid to receive something in return or to gain a personal advantage. Such a personal benefit can be seen as the individual sense of being morally satisfied, namely, warm-glow. That is, those who donate may feel higher levels of social esteem, gratitude and respect from others which are aspects feeding their warm-glow. Individual would decide to donate by the possibility to gain moral satisfaction rather than acting for the common good. On the other hand, according to cognitive psychology, pseudoinefficacy may affect donating behaviors as an illusion of inefficacy that arises when individuals can only help some people but not others who yet are equally in need. In this sense, the phenomenon of pseudoinefficacy contributes to the selfish altruism model as an explanation of the individuals’ emotions that may reduce donors’ warm-glow. Ultimately, we propose a critical and interdisciplinary review of donating behaviors model and propose a research agenda for further investigations. Given the widespread of poverty as linked to the worldwide changes (i.e., novel pandemic of Sars-Cov-2), theoretical indications and reflections on donating behavior represent a pragmatic and moral concern whose relevance rests in the potential applied implications.
Donating behavior, selfish altruism, decision-making process, pseudoinefficacy, research agenda.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1062362
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