Extended Essay Draft

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IB Extended Essay DRAFT | An Evaluation of Empathy | Its Effects and Its Role in Charitable Donations | | Laura Albert | Word Count: 4590 | | Table of Contents Abstract 3 Introduction 4 Empathy and Human Motivation 5 Analysis of Donations 9 Empathy’s Effect 13 Conclusion 17 Refrences 20 Abstract Every individual, whether they may recognize or not, is controlled by their ability to empathize. This paper focuses on one’s ability to empathize and the effect that empathy has on decision making, specifically pertaining to one’s willingness to donate to charity. The theory presented through this analysis on empathy is the human’s inability to empathize with more than one victim at a time. Therefore the…show more content…
People are almost unaware of the need of help, unless the situation is presented in a visceral way, such as the dilemma devised by philosopher Peter Singer, “If you see a child drowning in a pond, and you know you can save the child without any risk to your own life – but you would ruin a fine pair of shoes worth $200 if you jumped into the water—would you save the child or save your shoes?” (Vedantam). The answer may appear obvious; of course one would spare a pair of shoes in place of a child’s life, so Singer then asks “why do large numbers of people hesitate to write a check for $200 to a reputable charity that could save the life of a child halfway around the world – when there are millions of children who need our help?” (Vedantam). This example dilemma once again representing the differences between the immediate and visceral feelings created by the child in the pond, compared with the distant and abstract feelings of the child, or children, halfway around the world. The idea of mass suffering also brings about the idea that someone else may step up and act in your place, because if so many people are suffering, people are bound to help, right? A study conducted by Darley and Latané tested the influence that group size on helping a victim. The experimenters lead
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