Psychological determinants of charitable giving

Tehila Kogut, Ilana Ritov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Cooperation, the provision of public goods, charitable giving, and informal helping behaviours are all difficult to explain purely on grounds of self-interest. This chapter discusses the motivations behind such behaviours, and demonstrates the main biases in donation decisions. It presents the main research methods used to study charitable giving, and deals with some directions for future research. The main research methods used in studying charitable research include surveys, field studies, lab experiments with real donations or hypothetical scenarios, and experimental economics games. In the specific context of helping behaviour, research suggests that cultural values or norms can result in differences in willingness to help across different cultures. Such research may contribute to the understanding of the role of cultural and educational factors in shaping people’s reactions to the needs of others (beyond genetic factors), and may help in explaining the different psychological mechanisms underlying donation-related decisions.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationEconomic Psychology
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Inc.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781118926352
ISBN (Print)9781118926345
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Charitable giving
  • Donation decisions
  • Economic psychology
  • Helping behaviours
  • Psychological determinants
  • Psychological mechanisms


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychological determinants of charitable giving'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this