A fundraiser can explain that people do tend to donate more to a single “identifiable victim” than to “statistical victims” or large groups. One might imagine that this “de-biasing” would make them more responsive to statistical information about effectiveness and the magnitude of a problem.

Alternative tool name:

Tool variation: learning about identifiable victims bias- moderators of identifiable victims bias

Category: Info/communications

Sub-category: Debiasing

Relevant theories: Identifiable victims bias, Drop-in-the-bucket

Type of evidence: Lab-charity

Evidence strength (ad hoc assessment): 4

Main findings

Small et al. (2007): teaching people about the 'identifiable victim bias' reduced donations towards identifiable victims, but did not increase giving to statistical victims (significant interaction). Kogut & R, '05b: When given *choices* between identified individual and identified group, people often choose the latter.


Practical relevance

Use cases


Key papers

Secondary papers

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  • Last modified: 2019/03/11 00:41
  • by david