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Authors > Habetinova Lenka

Charitable Giving, Emotions, and the Default Effect
Lenka Habetinova  1, *@  , Charles Noussair  1@  
1 : Tilburg University [Tilburg]  -  Website
PO Box 90153, 5000LE Tilburg -  Netherlands
* : Corresponding author

We report an experiment in which we investigate the effect of defaults, information, and emotions on charitable giving. In a Baseline treatment, there is no default level of giving. In the other treatments, there is an initial default donation, which can take on either a Low, Medium, or High value. For each of the default donation levels, another treatment is conducted, in which subjects are notified that defaults may have an effect. During the session, emotions, as manifested in facial expressions, are registered with Facereading software both before and after the donation decision. We observe no effect of defaults on decisions, and no effect of informing potential donors that defaults might have an effect. There is no correlation between prior emotional state and the decision to donate. Those who donate experience a decrease in the valence, the overall level of positivity of affect, of their emotional state after their decision. Our results suggest that individual factors are predominant in predicting donations, and the increases in happiness after donating reported in some previous studies are not driven by immediate positive emotional responses. 

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