2 Baby Jessica Saga in
1987 • Jessica McClure, an 18 month old girl fell into a 22 feet abandoned well • What followed is a huge media coverage(for weeks) • The whole world watched every step in rescue effort. • There was a tearful relief after rescue made by a parallel shaft.
3 What happened after? •
This brought people together. • McClure family received more than $700,000 in charity. • Jessica and her parents suffered a lot, having been through this. • There was a movie called Everybody's Baby based on this. • Now you've seen how did people react to this.
4 Well, how did people
react to this? • There was a genocide in Rwanda. • 800,000 people were brutally murdered (including babies) • Did baby Jessica get more CNN coverage than the genocide? May be, yes(there's nothing wrong about that) • So, why did we not feel the same for mass killings? • Its a question of why we feel more inclined to suffering by one person more than tragedies suffered by more people.
5 Its a question to
be answered and you can find it here. Do we really not care about a tragedy as the number of sufferer increases? Why did I make this presentation? I think its important to understand what drives us and our behavior. "One man's death is a tragedy, but a million deaths is a statistic“ – Joseph Stalin "If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at one, I will“ – Mother Teresa
The Identifiable Victim Effect An
experiment carried out by Deborah Small(Prof at University of Pennsylvania) Given a sum of money($5) and asked to donate some amount to two conditions: 1. A Statistical condition (Food shortages effect 3 million children in Malawi and collective statistics like this) 2. An identifiable condition (A girl who is suffering and it reads that you can change her life as a result of your financial gift and more)
Identifiable condition Statistical condition Results
Donation to statistical condition(23%) was half that of identifiable condition (48%) We have empathy towards a sufferer whom we can see, feel their pain and know more details. Unfortunately we don't feel the same when sufferers are not individualized.
8 Who is implementing identifiable
victim effect? American Cancer society uses the same in its campaigns. They use a powerful word "survivor" that identifies a person who has survived a cancer. A survivor is anyone who can create a network of sympathetic people who can act as the "identifiable" . Individuals connected to a survivor are motivated to give their help to the ACS. A good cause indeed!
9 Closeness, Vividness and the
"Drop-in-the- Bucket" Effect. Assume you are on your way to your dream job with a new suit and while crossing a bridge you find a girl who had fallen into water unable to swim, just a few feet away. You are a good swimmer and there's no time to remove your clothes. All of us put in this situation would jump into the water not thinking about $1000 suit and the dream job interview. It’s a human life at stake.
Thinking about the girl -
Another perspective. Would you have helped the girl if she was in a third world nation contracting malaria? Would you have the same motivation to save the girl? Its not that we are hard hearted humans who would not help. It is just because the problems are far away, out of our control and takes a lot of effort by many people to solve the malaria problem. We feel less emotional, less vividness in realizing the situation. Hence lesser motivation to help.
15 Some solutions People act
only when the problem is personalized. This behavior does not help solve large problems that face planet Earth. Do you care about 1 Degree increase in temperature? So, when you hear about a thousand victims of a flood, think an individual (say a small kid) who lost his parents. This can get you to act! Can change in moral principles happen?
Copyright DailyLeapFrog.com 16 Follow me
on Slideshare at www.slideshare.net/NivashKumar This presentation is a summary of Chapter 9 of Dan Ariely's book "The upside of irrationality", I strongly recommend you read this book if you like the stuff in this presentation. All credits to Dan Ariely and his collaborators for having done remarkable work in his book.