Sunday, November 30

Hunger Feeds More The Hungry: Evidence On Cognitive And Affective Empathy

a rather interesting paper here

We investigate experimentally the impact of cognitive and affective empathy on behavior. A
novelty of the study is that we do so directly without invoking responses to questionnaires, but
by manipulating the state of hunger of participants in the single-shot Dictator game during
the holy month of Ramadan. Our sample consists of male workers in the Sepaahaan (car
battery) manufacturing factory in the city of Isfahan in Iran. We find that, only, affective
empathy amplifies altruistic behavior. More specifically, hungry dictators transfer more money
to hungry recipients than fed dictators. The difference is statistically as well as economically

and there’s a great quote from the old master, Adam Smith. I quote:

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his
nature which interest him in the fortune of others and render their happiness necessary
to him through he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it.
Adam Smith

the use of hunger during the Ramadan time is quite interesting. Despite them being hungry, the donors will pay more in an altruistic manner. The fact that they are hungry themselves attenuates their unselfish behaviour, good to be human, eh?

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