NCBI ROFL: The effects of wearing a costume on charitable donations.

By ncbi rofl | May 24, 2011 7:00 pm

“Although research has shown a general trend that people dressed in neat or professional clothes elicit more helping behavior from other people than when dressed in casual or sloppy clothes, no research has examined the effects of wearing a costume on helping behavior. In this experiment, confederates dressed either in a Santa suit or in street clothes as they volunteered for the Salvation Army as bell-ringers in front of retail stores. The hypothesis that donations would be greater while wearing the Santa suit was not supported by the data; the Santa suit and the street clothes elicited equal amounts of donations.”

Photo: flickr/Vince Viloria

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  • Richard Lemon

    The past few years I haven’t seen a single bell ringer in a Santa suit. Seriously, isn’t there a cow manure study they should be doing instead?

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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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