The Psychology of Charitable Donations to Disaster Victims and Beyond

Hanna Zagefka, Trevor James

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This contribution summarises the literature on the psychology of charitable donations to victims of disasters and other unfortunate circumstances. Four distinct research areas are reviewed. We begin with the literature on donations in general, and then move to the literature on donations to disaster victims specifically, which is what most of our own research has focussed on. We then review the literature on intergroup prosociality, because many donations occur in some kind of intergroup context. We then cover some of the main insights from the literature on generic prosocial processes, which has generated insights which are generalizable to donations and have applied implications. Finally, we summarise some of the main recommendations for eliciting donations which can be generated from these literatures. An emphasis is placed on the translation of academic knowledge into practical steps which practitioners might find useful.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-192
Number of pages38
JournalSocial Issues and Policy Review
Issue number1
Early online date8 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2015

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