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The Reluctant Altruist

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Johanna M Lukate.

Tea and coffee will be served from 12.30 onwards at the Nick Macintosh Seminar Room for attendees only.

When faced with others free-riding traditional accounts in the literature indicate that people either defect and free-ride themselves or punish free-riders in order to encourage cooperation. Punishment is believed associated with negative emotions in particular anger directed at free-riders. However, we identified a preference in blood donors (a behaviour marked by high degree of free-riding) which we termed ‘reluctant altruism’. Reluctant altruists, do not trust that other will help and so help when others free-ride. In this talk I will detail the development of a theory of reluctant altruism, and the development of a psychometric assessment of reluctant altruism with three facets (helping due to: (1) lack of trust, (2) negative emotions – including anger – at free-riders and (3) feeling that social norms reflect an uncaring society. I will detail how this preference is a mixture of selfish (e.g., warm-glow) and other inspiring motives and how it relates to work on condition cooperation, crowding out and blood donation and blood donor recruitment.

This talk is part of the Social Psychology Seminar Series (SPSS) series.

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