The Identifiable Victim Effect: Causes and Boundary Conditions

Tehila Kogut, Ilana Ritov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Why do people engage in charitable giving? Certainly there are many reasons for this. Social norms, social perceptions, religious convictions, and other considerations may all play a role. However, beyond all those reasons, the wish to help other people, particularly when those people are in need of external help, is the core motivation for charitable giving and helping behavior. Thus, in order to better understand the psychological motivation of charitable giving, it is important to explore the factors that may increase or decrease the fundamental wish to extend help. One of the main factors that affects the wish to aid is the characteristics of the target-the recipient of the help. Why do some targets elicit outpourings of sympathy and aid, while other targets do not? This chapter focuses on an important characteristic of the targets that affect people’s willingness to help: the identifiability of the recipient.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Science of Giving
Subtitle of host publicationExperimental Approaches to the Study of Charity
EditorsDaniel M. Oppenheimer, Christopher Y. Olivola
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781135234034
ISBN (Print)9781848728851
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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