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From TEARs to AID: the effects of emotional tears in images of refugees on helping through crowdfunding actions

Project description

Tears trigger helping behaviour

People are usually more willing to help those who cry. The question is why and what kind of help tears activate. The EU-funded TEARAID project will try to solve this question. It will examine the effects of tears on the promotion of two types of prosocial behaviour: autonomy- and dependency-oriented help. It will also test the role of underlying mechanisms like perceived humanness of the tearful person and self-transcendent emotions felt in response to tears, such as compassion. Photos and videos of refugees used in news stories and social campaigns by NGOs will be used to compare people’s reactions to tearful and non-tearful refugees. The findings will assist in improving measures of prosocial behaviour and creating joint initiatives with the crowdfunding industry.

Objective

TEARAID will study the effects of emotional tears on providing aid to members of disadvantaged groups, measured by means of research-embedded crowdfunding campaigns. The proposed project will examine the effects of tears on the promotion of actual prosocial behavior (i.e. both autonomy- and dependency-oriented help), providing an innovative tool for its measurement and creating synergies between research in social sciences and crowdfunding industry. Next, TEARAID will respond to why these effects occur, i.e. test the role of underlying mechanisms, such as perceived humanness of the tearful person, and self-transcendent emotions felt in response to tears, such as compassion and elevation. Furthermore, the project will test when these effects occur, i.e. identify factors that strengthen or weaken them, including the situation in which a person is shedding tears (whether being comforted by another person or not), as well as gender. To address above-mentioned challenges, TEARAID will analyze host society members’ responses toTEAR-AID will examine the effects of emotional tears on the promotion of prosocial behavior (e.g. providing humanitarian aid), as well as respond to why (i.e. test the underlying mechanisms) and when these effects occur (i.e. identify factors that strengthen or weaken them). TEAR-AID will use real-life images (photographs and videos) of refugees used in news stories and social campaigns by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as laboratory standardized photographs to test people’s reactions including actual prosocial behavior (contribution to real crowdfunding initiatives) in response to tearful and non-tearful refugees. Importantly, TEAR-AID will provide an innovative tool for measuring prosocial behavior, creating joint initiatives with crowdfunding industry. In general, the project will contribute valuable knowledge regarding the effects images of tearful refugees in mass media have on prosocial behavior among host society members.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT
Net EU contribution
€ 175 572,48
Address
HEIDELBERGLAAN 8
3584 CS Utrecht
Netherlands

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Region
West-Nederland Utrecht Utrecht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 175 572,48