A Laugh and a Burst of Kindness: The Impact of Comedy on Altruistic Behavior in Rural Nepal
IDEC-DP2_10-7.pdf 7.4 MB
Lee, Chui Ying
Altruistic behavior plays a crucial role in the enhancement of spontaneous transfer of goods. This behavior is even more important in developing countries, where government assistance is low and precautionary savings are almost null. Moreover, our study is located in an extremely marginalized and inaccessible area of Nepal, where villagers cannot always rely on external aid. We conducted a randomized controlled trial, where we display either a comedy or a neutral video clip to villagers. Then, villagers played the dictator game: we provided cash and the opportunity to share their cash to an unknown villager in the community. We show that the comedy group became more altruistic compared to the placebo group. Moreover, an analogous result holds true when measuring the effect of participants’ own perception of how funny the video was.
This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers JP25257102 and JSPS Topic-Setting Program to Advance Cutting-Edge Humanities and Social Sciences Research (Responding to Real Society), under the grant titled “The Institutional E↵ects on Social Norms and Public Moral across Cultures Laboratory and Field Experimental Approaches (2016-2019),” provided to Masaru Sasaki.
IDEC DP2 Series