Identifiable Victim Effect

Each participant receive a charity request letter. Some with statistical information about the victims and some with a specific victim. 

  • Statistical information about victims: people chose to donate $1.14 on average
  • Specific victim: people chose to donate $2.38

We are more empathetic to indentifiable victims than to more anonymous victims and abstract statistics

See the full study here :

Small, D. A., Loewenstein, G., & Slovic, P. (2013). Sympathy and callousness: The impact of deliberative thought on donations to identifiable and statistical victims. In The Feeling of Risk (pp. 51-68). Routledge.

Want to know more about biases?

Base Rate Fallacy

Endowment effect

Single Option Aversion

Sunk Cost Fallacy