What happens when we are faced with many options? Research has shown that a maximizing mindset is activated. The maximizing mindset is characterized by two features: holding a goal of choosing the best and applying a strategy of comparing options.

Given that individuals constantly receive donation requests; it is only reasonable to assume that many donation decisions are made under a maximizing mindset.

This project focuses on how the maximizing mindset influences charitable behavior:

  • Do maximizers respond more to emotional charitable appeals or to rational charitable appeals?
  • Do they engage more in comparing their (better off life-situation) to that of the individuals requesting aid?
  • Do they experience more regret after deciding to help one person in need over another?

The goal of this project is to help charities understand which charitable appeals match donors’ common mindset in this world of abundance – the maximizing mindset – and what motivations can these appeals activated to enhance giving.