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The effect of information overload on charity donations
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division of Psychology and Organisation Studies. (Personlighet och Socialpsykologi)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0629-353X
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, ISSN 2163-1948, E-ISSN 2163-1956, Vol. 4, no 1, 41-50 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines the effect of information overload, due to information about people in increasing extent and number of needs, on altruism, such as charity giving. Information overload has previously been conceived in terms of quality as well as quantity of information. The former is conceptualised as extent of need and the latter as number of needs in the present research design. Two studies were conducted to test the prediction that information overload and charity donation size are inversely related. Study 1 was designed according to a 2 x 2 factorial design: Number of needs (high vs. low) x Extent of needs (long term and large scope vs. short term and small scope). Study 2 used a modified similar approach manipulating only number of needs. A sample of 60 and 44 undergraduate students filled out a charity donation form in the two studies. The results show a significant relationship between the factors of extent of need and number of needs with amount of money pledged for charity. People gave less the greater the extent of the need and the greater the number of needs. Both studies suggest information increase about extent and number of needs has inhibiting effects on charity giving. This effect, attributed to information overload, is labelled moral exhaustion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Scientific & Academic Publishing Co. , 2014. Vol. 4, no 1, 41-50 p.
Keyword [en]
Altruism, charity, moral exhaustion
National Category
Social Psychology
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-8648DOI: 10.5923/j.ijpbs.20140401.06OAI: diva2:869077
Available from: 2014-07-22 Created: 2015-11-12 Last updated: 2016-03-17Bibliographically approved

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Kajonius, Petri
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