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Group Differences in Compassion Fade and Prosocial Behavior

Abstract
When people learn about a large-scale crisis, they often feel more compassion for its victims when they can fixate on a single, identifiable victim, compared to many victims - a phenomenon known as ‘compassion fade.’ However, throughout the growing compassion fade literature, researchers have mostly given a face to large groups using a single child - a face which may be particularly stirring because children are seen as both likable and incapable of fending for themselves. I conducted two experiments to determine whether the magnitude of this phenomenon varied as a function of characteristics of the victims - namely, how stereotypically likable or capable they are. While these studies indicated that likability stereotypes, rather than capability stereotypes, are more likely to moderate the ‘fade’ of compassion and helping intentions, further replication is necessary to verify these findings.
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