Presentation Title

The Effects of Hunger on the Willingness to Give

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 355

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

There is a great need for solutions concerning poverty and homelessness. Unfortunately, even with many programs and charities, it is not enough. What encourages generosity? Two hypotheses potentially predict charitable behavior: the in-group hypothesis and the empathy hypothesis. Both hypotheses predict that people should give to people that are like themselves. That is, the in-group hypothesis states that people are more willing to help someone that is like themselves and the empathy hypothesis states that if we can put ourselves in another’s position and feel what they are feeling, we would want to help more. This pilot study was performed for an Experimental Psychology class without IRB approval. Based on the hypotheses above, participants should be more charitable to help fellow CSU students in need compared to others; however, we tested this by seeing if participants would be more charitable to hungry students (CSU foodbank condition) or to needy children. Before coming to the study, they were asked to either skip or eat breakfast. After a test to distract them from the true study, participants were offered snacks. Depending on the condition, they were told that the left over snacks would be donated to a CSU food pantry, a children’s shelter or they were not told of the donation. The real purpose of the depravation manipulation was to see if students that were hungry would increase the participants empathy towards other hungry students. Results indicated that there was no difference between the eating and skipping breakfast condition but fewer snacks were taken by participants when they were told it would go to children; however, there was no difference in snacks taken when comparing the control condition to the CSU student donation condition. These results potentially suggest that the in-group and empathy hypotheses do not predict charitable behavior.

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Nov 12th, 3:45 PM Nov 12th, 4:00 PM

The Effects of Hunger on the Willingness to Give

HUB 355

There is a great need for solutions concerning poverty and homelessness. Unfortunately, even with many programs and charities, it is not enough. What encourages generosity? Two hypotheses potentially predict charitable behavior: the in-group hypothesis and the empathy hypothesis. Both hypotheses predict that people should give to people that are like themselves. That is, the in-group hypothesis states that people are more willing to help someone that is like themselves and the empathy hypothesis states that if we can put ourselves in another’s position and feel what they are feeling, we would want to help more. This pilot study was performed for an Experimental Psychology class without IRB approval. Based on the hypotheses above, participants should be more charitable to help fellow CSU students in need compared to others; however, we tested this by seeing if participants would be more charitable to hungry students (CSU foodbank condition) or to needy children. Before coming to the study, they were asked to either skip or eat breakfast. After a test to distract them from the true study, participants were offered snacks. Depending on the condition, they were told that the left over snacks would be donated to a CSU food pantry, a children’s shelter or they were not told of the donation. The real purpose of the depravation manipulation was to see if students that were hungry would increase the participants empathy towards other hungry students. Results indicated that there was no difference between the eating and skipping breakfast condition but fewer snacks were taken by participants when they were told it would go to children; however, there was no difference in snacks taken when comparing the control condition to the CSU student donation condition. These results potentially suggest that the in-group and empathy hypotheses do not predict charitable behavior.