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article imagePersonality Type Key To Charity Giving

By Bob Ewing     Dec 11, 2007 in Lifestyle
A research collaboration involving Mark Van Vugt, Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Kent, has revealed that peoples' personality types predicts their donations to charities and noble causes.
Mark Van Vugt is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Kent who has recently collaborated on a study that reveals that peoples' personality types predict their donations to charities and noble causes.
The research team sampled nearly 1,000 people and found that people with a pro-social personality gave more money to charities and other noble causes.
For example: donations to 'third world organizations',
52% of people with a pro-social personality gave money,
Compared to 42% of people with an individualistic personality
And only 21% of people with a competitive personality.
Pro-socials donate more money to a wide variety of charitable and noble organizations, including health, environmental, charity, and education/research and arts/culture organizations than individualists and competitors do (the only exception being donations to local community and church groups).
The findings mean that it may be possible that donations could be enhanced not only by appeals that focus on empathy (e.g. concerns for other's well-being) but also by appeals emphasizing fairness (e.g. everyone deserves an equal chance in life).
Professor Van Vugt is an expert on altruism and co-author of a recently published text 'Applying Social Psychology: From Problems to Solutions' [London: Sage, 2007], said:
'We hope that fundraising organizations, such as those dedicated to helping the poor and the ill, particularly during humanitarian crises or at critical times of the year, such as winter and Christmas, will benefit from this research. Not everyone is a Scrooge and there are many Samaritans around. The trick is to get people with individualistic and competitive personalities to donate more to noble causes, perhaps by offering them small gifts.'
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