Ally or adversary: The effect of identifiability in inter-group conflict situations

Ilana Ritov, Tehila Kogut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


People's tendency to be more generous towards identifiable victims than towards unidentifiable or statistical victims is known as the identifiable victim effect. Recent research (Kogut & Ritov, 2007) called the generality of the effect into question, showing that in cross-national contexts, identifiability affects mostly willingness to help victims belonging to one's 'in-group'. The present research extends the investigation by examining the identifiability effect in inter-group conflict situations. In three experiments, employing hypothetical contributions as well as real monetary allocation in a dictator-game, we found that identifiability increased generosity towards a member of the adversary group, but it decreased generosity towards a member of one's own group. Possible mechanisms underlying this interaction are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-103
Number of pages8
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2011


  • Charitable giving
  • Identifiable victim

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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