Generosity Research Gets a Boost

The University of Notre Dame’s Science of Generosity initiative is giving a total of 1.4 million dollars to four scientific research projects studying generosity. James Andreoni, a behavioral economist at the University of California, San Diego, will look at the relationship between charitable donors and recipients (especially how empathy affects donations), while Harvard University sociologist Dr. Nicholas Christakis will go further, exploring how generosity spreads—or, in his word, “cascades”—within social networks. (Christakis and James Fowler, who co-wrote the book Connected, recently showed how kindness and generosity is contagious, even among strangers.)
Studying the causes of generosity, Ariel Knafo, a psychologist at Hebrew University, will focus on the ways genetic and environmental influences might affect generosity in families and children, and Carolyn Warner, a political scientist at Arizona State University, will look into whether religious beliefs and practices can foster generosity, and whether they encourage the behavior toward both insiders and outsiders.

Category: Buzz


One Response

  1. Scigencomm says:

    To learn more about the Science of Generosity Initiative at the University of Notre Dame, please visit There you’ll find the latest news and information on the 14 research projects currently underway at the initiative.

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