2016 Organisation and Management of Aid Other

The when and why of helping: individual and organizational decision making from a psychological perspective

Arvid Erlandsson

Within the fields of experimental psychology and behavioral economy, helping decisions has mostly been investigated at the individual level but helping decisions can also occur at the organizational level. This dissertation examines factors that affect our helping behavior or helping motivation.

The report was presented during the seminar Drivers for development: advocacy, diversification, donations and endowments.

Main findings
Three helping effects are primarily mediated by three different psychological mechanisms:

  1. The identifiable victim effect is primarily driven by emotional reactions.
  2. The proportion dominance effect is primarily driven by perceived utility.
  3. The in-group effect is primarily driven by perceived responsibility.

Arvid Erlandsson is a researcher at the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Learning, Linköping University and at the Department of Psychology, Lund University. He defended his dissertation Underlying psychological mechanisms of helping effects: Examining the when × why of charitable giving at Lund University in January 2015.