Making a Difference Matters: Impact Unlocks the Emotional Benefits of Prosocial Spending

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Making a Difference Matters: Impact Unlocks the Emotional Benefits of Prosocial Spending

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Title: Making a Difference Matters: Impact Unlocks the Emotional Benefits of Prosocial Spending
Author: Aknin, Lara B.; Dunn, Elizabeth W.; Whillans, Ashley V.; Grant, Adam M.; Norton, Michael Irwin

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Aknin, Lara B., Elizabeth W. Dunn, Ashley V. Whillans, Adam M. Grant, and Michael I. Norton. "Making a Difference Matters: Impact Unlocks the Emotional Benefits of Prosocial Spending." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 88 (April 2013): 90–95.
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Abstract: When does giving lead to happiness? Here, we present two studies demonstrating that the
emotional benefits of spending money on others (prosocial spending) are unleashed when
givers are aware of their positive impact. In Study 1, an experiment using real charitable
appeals, giving more money to charity led to higher levels of happiness only when participants gave to causes that explained how these funds are used to make a difference in the life of a recipient. In Study 2, participants were asked to reflect upon a time they spent money on themselves or on others in a way that either had a positive impact or had no impact. Participants who recalled a time they spent on others that had a positive impact were happiest. Together, these results suggest that highlighting the impact of prosocial spending can increase the emotional rewards of giving.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2013.01.008
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11320613
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