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article imageEmpty boxes and politeness dent generosity

By RobotGod     Feb 21, 2007 in World
People will not give money if they are thanked in advance or presented with an empty donation box, but will dig deep if they see banknotes, according to a study by New Zealand academics released on Wednesday.
The research by Victoria University of Wellington's economics department showed that how much is already in a donation box, the mix of coins and notes, and what sorts of signs are present will influence how generous the public will be.
The behavior of people faced with a clear donation box at the entrance to the city's art gallery was filmed by a hidden camera.
Never leave the box empty. That is what they have learned. And also to have a good balance of paper money and coins so that people feel comfortable giving a large amount or a small amount. More coins led to people leaving smaller donation, while bills led to people leaving larger donations. People are basically psychologically led by what they perceive that others have done before them. A very interesting experiment. The results will soon be published.
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