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Simple Jury Persuasion: The “Tainted Altruism Effect,” posted by Douglas Keene, The Jury Room Blog


People will actually see you more positively when you raise no money for charity at all than they will when you raise $1,000,000 (but skim $100,000 for yourself). Even if you said you were going to keep 10% up front and the charity really did get the $900,000! When you benefit (in any way) from your charitable activities, your altruistic acts are likely to be seen as somehow tainted by your self-interest.

There is a really nice write-up of this article at Time Magazine and therefore, we won’t focus on what the researchers did, but rather on the reason they thought tainted altruism worth investigating. It’s all about access to counter-factual information!

Interested related posts at the end of this post by Mr. Keene. -CCE