Keywords: Christmas, Xmas, Black Friday, charity, economics, experimental economics
Ooooh, hello dear English speaking-reading-hearing listener, welcome back to me, @sciencemug, the blog/podcast/twitter&instagram accounts/entity behind the unsuccessful e-shop stuffngo on zazzle.com which can hold its breath for 55 straight hours since it has neither lungs nor cardiovascular system (let alone a brain in need of oxygen), aaand which talks to you thanks to the voice, kidnapped via a voodoo-wireless trick, from a veeery very very dumb human.
Aaand which does all of this in Eng?ish, a language that is to proper English what to publish the second part of a Xmas episode closer to Valentine’s day than to Christmas itself is to something belonging to the realm of the things that make even a pale imitation of sense...
Soo dear listener, in the previous episode I told you the first of two studies (study 1 and study 2) about seasonal effects on people’s propensity to donate to charity and ‘bout its surprising findings: on Christmas time donations are less than on summer time, and this is a trend unexpectedly driven by prosocial individuals (i.e. people with a predisposition to generosity), who donate less frequently and less money during winter Holidays.
The studies are performed by two researchers of the German University of Gottingen, Dr. Stephan Muller and Professor of Experimental Economics Holger A. Rau (aka the Rau's Duo, or the RDs) and are published on a paper (P) on the open access scientific journal PLOSONE.
In this episode, dear listener, I’ll tell you what the RDs do to understand why is that people, especially prosocials, are less generous on Xmas time than on summer, in other words, what are the “[d]rivers of the lower donations“ (P).
Listen to the podcast episode
So, the Rau’s Duo performs its second study (study 2) the week after the Black Friday, that is in November. The researchers recruit again subjects from the Gottingen University, but none of those already involved in the previous study (study 1) or in other similar studies.
The RDs pick 72 persons (42 females and 30 males) between 18 and 50 years old with an average age of 22 and a half.
The first part of study 2 is identical to study 1 (do you remember dear reader? Semi fake money called Talers that can be donated to the German Red Cross, Social Value Orientation (SVO) evaluation of prosocials, individualistics, competitives, and so on and on (if you don’t remember, dear listener, well, don’t worry, just check the previous post/episode and maybe consider implementing your diet with some phosphorus, but hurry up mate, since world’s irreplaceable reserves of this essential stuff are depleting at an alarming rate (see)).
Anyway, dear listener, of the 72 individuals initially selected for study 2, only 66 are eventually tested (of which fifty are prosocials, and sixteen individualistics). The competitives and the “none of the above” are indeed, as happened in study 1, discharged.
So, dear listener, surprise surprise, the results of this first part of study 2 are basically the same of study 1: meaning those sneaky prosocials are the ones responsible for sinking the donations rate on Xmas season, while individualistics are steady cheap lads both in summer and winter holiday time.
At this point the second phase of study 2 starts. Unlike in study 1,