Next time a bright-eyed college student asks you to save the children for the price of your morning coffee, think of this before shooting her down with some lame excuse: A new study suggests that we are more likely to give money to victims of natural disasters than man-made tragedies, like war.
Why? We like to believe life is fair, and we blame the victim whenever possible in order to maintain this illusion perspective, researchers say. If we believe the victim did something to deserve it, we can believe we would have to do something to trigger this misfortune too. Cuz otherwise life would be unfair, and that’s crazy talk.
When it comes to earthquakes/tsunamis/floods/etc., blaming the victim (for…being in the way?) is a little harder. In other news, Americans donated $2 billion to Haiti earthquake victims-more money than they can even spend.
Don’t worry, Kanye. They were victims of the good kind of disaster.
Another factor is what the victims appear to be doing to help themselves. People are more likely to donate to those who actively try to better their situation.
In disaster relief appeals, you see people working to rebuild their communities. Compare that to ads with lethargic-looking children peering at you through dinner-plate eyes wet with grief, as if only the largest, wettest eyes could net the biggest pile of dough.
Unfortunately, pretty much the opposite is true.
So next time you’re doling out cash to worthy causes, stop and think of the children-the sad, pathetic-looking, helpless children-and remember this: It ain’t their fault their charities suck at advertising.
How Do We Know All This? Cuz we’re brilliant. Also:
Study author Hanna Zagefka says people are kinda d*cks unsympathetic to passive victims.
Psychologists have a name for the belief that life is fair: the Just-World Hypothesis. And a synonym: the Just-World Fallacy. My they’re a dark bunch.
It’s funny how believing the world is just causes so much injustice, funny in the totally depressing way.
-Ariel Dreyer, Serious Coin contributor
Photo credit: NBC via YouTube