Monday, March 30, 2009

Statistics Are A Philanthropic Blind Spot

Jonah Lehrer's How We Decide is a tremendous book. It chronicles the psychological rationale that affects human decision making in all walks of life. I highly recommend getting a copy!

Of particular interest to me was his citing of research done by Dr. Paul Slovic, a psychologist at the University of Oregon. Lehrer writes,

"According to Slovic, the problem with statistics is that they don't activate our moral emotions. The depressing numbers leave us cold: our minds can't comprehend suffering on such a massive scale. This is why we are riveted when one child falls down a well but turn a blind eye to the millions of people who die every year for lack of clean water. And why we donate thousands of dollars to help a single African war orphan featured on the cover of a magazine but ignore widespread genocides in Rwanda and Darfur. As Mother Teresa put it, "If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will."

This is of particular importance of us at the 1 Dollar Club - we feel that the paradigm is shifting from the 21st century where people donate only when their emotions have been triggered, to a more proactive, mandatory role.

You don't have to be rich to be a microphilanthropist, Everyone can afford to give a dollar. Donate Today!

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