Who helps when – and why?: Individual differences, situational factors and psychological mechanisms in prosocial decision making

Datum: 2018-10-18

Tid: 13:00 - 17:00

Adress: Lilla Frescativägen 4A Stockholm

Lokal: Beijer Hall, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

The symposium is arranged by the Swedish National Committee for Psychological Sciences  

What happens when we face the decision of whether or not to help, or how to allocate resources when it is not possible to help everyone? In this symposium, we will approach prosocial decision making from three perspectives. (1) Individual differences – Can we predict people’s helping decisions based on their demographics, personality and values/worldviews? (2) Situational factors – To what extent does the problem at hand (e.g. natural disaster or civil war) or the characteristics of the victims (e.g. children or adults in need) influence helping? (3) Psychological mechanisms – What kinds of feelings, thoughts and beliefs motivate us to help, and do we help more when making decisions intuitively or when using a more analytical decision process? The symposium includes researchers from different disciplines who all study prosocial decision making empirically. It will reveal recent developments in contemporary helping research, which should appeal to not only researchers but also those who work in the charitable sector, policy makers and the general public.


René Bekkers, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Why do people give? Charitable giving, volunteering, and happiness
Hanna Zagefka, Royal Holloway, University of London
Helping in the context of humanitarian disasters
Kimberly Wade-Benzoni, Duke University
Legacies, immortality, & the future: The psychology of intergenerational decisions
Arvid Erlandsson, Linköping and Lund University
Helping with the heart, the head and by the book: Well-known helping effects are driven by different psychological mechanisms
Panel discussion
Moderator: Folke Tersman, Professor of Practical Philosophy, Uppsala University
Financial support for this symposium comes from Stiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.
The event is free of charge and open to the public but registration is required for all participants. 

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