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The psychology of the no-makeup selfie: why we should think twice before discouraging public displays of altruism
Imagine if I were to ask you to donate blood tomorrow. Now imagine that I were to offer you $7 to do the very same thing. Would this incentive make you more or less likely to give blood? Stop and think before reading on. In 1970, Richard Titmus proposed that offering money for blood donations would reduce the amount of donations; economists were skeptical of Titmus' theory and it wasn't until 2010 that the hypothesis was tested. Carl Mellström and Magnus Johannesson found that 43% of participants agreed to give blood without any incentive but a payment equivalent to $7 reduced the percentage of participants willing to give blood to 33%. The overall result in this small study was not statistically significant, but a larger, statistically significant effect was found in women whose rate of agreement to give blood dropped from 52% to 30% when a payment was offered. A larger systematic review including studies involving 93,328 participants found various forms of incentives had no impact on the likelihood of blood donation. It seems likely that any donors enticed by a reward are cancelled out by donors put off by the reward.
What causes this bizarre effect? Is it that we want to feel that we are acting out of a sense of altruism, or could it be more that we want to be seen to be acting out of a sense of altruism? Dan Ariely, Anat Bracha and Stephan Meier attempted to answer this question by offering or not offering rewards for altruistic behaviour either in private or in public. Participants were invited to "Click for Charity" - press pairs of buttons repetitively on a computer to earn money for charity. When no rewards were offered, participants clicked 822 times when they were told to share their results with the other participants, but when the results were kept private participants clicked only 548 times. When rewards were offered in private the participants clicked 740 times, but when the rewards were offered in public the participants clicked only 702 times.
The experiments demonstrate just how much other people's perceptions of our behaviour affect our decisions to behave altruistically. Other research shows that students are more likely to donate to charity when they are with peers than in private and even that church-goers give more, in larger denominations of coins when open collection baskets are used than when closed collection bags are used.
There's been a lot of criticism of the recent trend of posting donations along with "no-makeup selfies" to social media. I'd agree with criticisms that posting a selfie isn't helping if no donation is given, but we might want to think twice before slating campaigns that promote posting of public displays of altruism to social media. Not only are people more likely to do good if they are seen to be doing good, but as the no-makeup selfie trend shows, public acts of kindness can be multiplied by the viral potential of social media. It might seem crude to some to display ones donations to charity online, but the evidence shows that a factor in whether people give is the potential to display a positive self image and doing so encourages others to do the same. It's not often that my blog posts have a happy ending, but in this case the science says "share the love", encouraging public acts of kindness is a good thing.
Ariely D., Bracha A. & Meier S. (2009). Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially, American Economic Review, 99 (1) 544-555. DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.1.544
Mellström C. & Johannesson M. (2008). Crowding Out in Blood Donation: Was Titmuss Right?, Journal of the European Economic Association, 6 (4) 845-863. DOI: 10.1162/JEEA.2008.6.4.845
Niza C., Tung B. & Marteau T.M. (2013). Incentivizing blood donation: Systematic review and meta-analysis to test Titmuss’ hypotheses., Health Psychology, 32 (9) 941-949. DOI: 10.1037/a0032740
Soetevent A.R. (2005). Anonymity in giving in a natural context—a field experiment in 30 churches, Journal of Public Economics, 89 (11-12) 2301-2323. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2004.11.002
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Humans are particularly prone to shiver when a group does or thinks the same thing at the same time.
A few years ago, I proposed that the feeling of cold in one's spine, while for example watching a film or listening to music, corresponds to an event when our vital need for cognition is satisfied.
Certain colors are globally linked to certain feelings, the study reveals.
- Color psychology is often used in marketing to alter your perception of products and services.
- Various studies and experiments across multiple years have given us more insight into the link between personality and color.
- The results of a new study spanning 6 continents (30 nations) shows universal correlations between colors and emotions around the globe.
The root of color psychology<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9e40cf62fa8922fcca6c57e2fcb215b6"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OM4fXB23pCQ?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>There is a very likely chance you've even been "fooled" by color marketing in the past, or you've chosen one product over another subconsciously due to colors that were designed to influence your emotions.<br></p><p>Companies that want to be known for being dependable often use blue in their logos, for example (Dell, HP, IBM). Companies that want to be perceived as fun and exciting go for a splash of orange (Fanta, Nickelodeon, even Amazon). Green is associated with natural, peaceful emotions and is often used by companies like Whole Foods and Tropicana. </p><p><strong>Your favorite color says a lot about your personality. </strong></p><p>Various studies and experiments across multiple years (<a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49595886_Personality_Traits_and_Colour_Preferences" target="_blank">2010</a>, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jopy.12087" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2014</a>, <a href="http://oaji.net/articles/2015/1170-1448038739.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2015</a>, and more recently in <a href="https://www.verywellmind.com/color-psychology-2795824#modern-research-on-color-psychology" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2019</a>) have given us more insight into the link between your personality and your favorite color.</p><p>Red, for example, is considered a bold color and is associated with feelings such as excitement, passion, anger, danger, energy, and love. The personality traits of this color might be someone who is bold, a little impulsive, and who loves adventure. </p><p>Orange, on the other hand, is considered representative of creativity, happiness, and freedom. The personality traits of this color can be fun, playful, cheerful, nurturing, and productive. Read more about color psychology and personalities <a href="https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/color-personality-psychology?rebelltitem=2#rebelltitem2" target="_self">here</a>.</p>
Study reveals which colors best suit which emotions around the globe<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDYzMTk5OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyODc4OTg5OH0.bY-pu-MFNivdJLDJuBp9TBKrhwuy7hngUa1aIWxQMVw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C93%2C0%2C94&height=700" id="33fff" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1a5d7bb00dac94bd6201616789fb4882" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="concept of color psychology how colors make us feel color emotions" />
Certain colors are globally ties to certain emotions, the study reveals.
Image by agsandrew on Shutterstock<p>In this particular survey, participants were asked to fill out an online questionnaire which involved assigning 20 emotions to 12 different color terms. They were also asked to specify the intensity with which they associated the color term with the emotion.</p><p><strong>Certain colors are globally linked to certain emotions, the study reveals.</strong></p><p>The results of this study showed a few definite correlations between colors and emotions throughout the globe. Red, for example, is the only color that is strongly associated with both negative (anger) and positive (love) feelings. Brown, on the other end of the spectrum, is the color that triggers the fewest emotions globally.<br></p><p>The color white is closely associated with sadness in China, while purple is what is closely associated with sadness in Greece. This can be traced back to the roots of each culture, with white being worn at funerals in China and dark purple being the Greek Orthodox Church's color of mourning. </p><p>Yellow is more associated with joy, specifically in countries that see less sunshine. Meanwhile, its association with joy is weaker in areas that have greater exposure to sunshine. </p><p><a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200910150247.htm" target="_blank">According to Dr. Oberfeld-Twistel</a>, it is difficult to say exactly what the causes for global similarities and differences are. "There is a range of possible influencing factors: language, culture, religion, climate, the history of human development, the human perceptual system."</p>