In the studies reported here, an analysis of financial donations in response to natural disasters showed that the amount of money allocated for humanitarian aid depends on the number of fatalities but not on the number of survivors who are affected by the disaster (i.e., the actual beneficiaries of the aid). On the basis of the experimental evidence, we discuss the underlying cause and provide guidelines to increase sensitivity to people in need.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
Psychological Science
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Evangelidis, I, & van den Bergh, B. (2013). The Number of Fatalities Drives Disaster Aid: Increasing Sensitivity to People in Need. Psychological Science, 24(11), 2226–2234. doi:10.1177/0956797613490748