BOSTON (CBS) – A new study in the journal Nature finds that people are in fact more generous, if they simply don’t dwell on it.

In the study, scientists from Harvard gave volunteers money and the opportunity to make more in an online game.

Players were asked to donate to a group project in which they could double their money and some were forced to decide quickly, while others were allowed to think for a while.

Sure enough, those who decided quickly contributed far more of their money than those who had a chance to reflect on it – 67-percent compared to 53-percent.

“I think that’s part of the power of soliciting donations over the phone, rather than by email or by mail. It’s that you have to basically decide right then. You don’t have the time to ponder over the checkbook,” Harvard researcher David Rand told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Deb Lawler talks to Rand

Researchers believe the study could have big implications for the way governments and organizations raise money.


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