Maintaining a good reputation is crucial for humans. Altruism, e.g. charity, may serve as a costly signal that enhances reputation based on the real or communicated cost. Fundraising via charity running triggers competitive altruism when potential donors donate in reaction to the reputation increase of the fundraiser. Using real-life data of marathonists and half-marathonists (388 runners) and their 9281 donors, the present research focuses on how the communicated cost and goal of a charity run affected the potential donors. We analysed the introductory texts of the runners presented online according to the cost and the social benefit of the fundraising communicated by them. We have shown that emphasizing more the subjective cost of running and the social benefit of the goal, or writing a longer text, attracted more donors and, even though the average amount of donation per donor did not increase, still lead to a greater amount of donations collected overall by the fundraiser. It was also shown that a higher communicated subjective cost resulted in a higher ratio of opposite-sex donors, both in the case of male and female runners, suggesting that the communication of the cost of an altruistic act might be the object of sexual selection.
A good reputation is crucial for humans, as a reputable person enjoys several benefits. One way to maintain a good reputation is to be altruistic, e.g. doing charity. A seemingly high cost and a socially accepted goal may result in a higher reputation. Using data from a charity running community we demonstrate that fundraisers who emphasize their subjective cost (how difficult to run), and emphasize the good goal of the charity, attract more donors, and even though the average amount of each donation does not increase, a higher number of donors results in a greater amount of donations collected overall. Talking about the difficulties of the charity run results in a higher ratio of opposite-sex donors. Our results may be helpful to plan more successful charity events or to make a human community more altruistic and cooperative in general.
Reputation and altruism
Having a good reputation has clear fitness benefits, which include better health, a higher opportunity for mating and more surviving offspring, the latter mainly on account of the likelihood of receiving more help from other group members (Kaplan and Hill 1985; Gurven et al. 2000; Wedekind and Milinski 2000; Milinski et al. 2002a, b; Post 2005; Macfarlan et al. 2012, 2013; Apicella 2014; Lyle and Smith 2014; Bliege Bird and Power 2015; von Rueden and Jaeggi 2016; Arnocky et al. 2017; Power and Ready 2018a, b). Therefore, selection has favoured the ability to make reputation-increasing behaviour visible and to recognize peers’ reputations (Bereczkei et al. 2007; Barclay 2012; Salahshour 2019; Romano et al. 2021).
One way to enhance reputation is to show signs of altruistic behaviour (Fehr and Fischbacher 2003; McAndrew and Perilloux 2012a, b). Here the definition of Feigin et al. (2014) is used: “human altruism as an intentional and voluntary act performed to benefit another person as the primary motivation and either without a conscious expectation of reward (altruistic approach) or with the conscious or unconscious expectation of reward (pseudo-altruistic approach)”. Humans are sensitive to altruistic cues because recognizing potential altruistic partners has its benefits because altruism functions as a reliable signal of important traits (i.e. willingness to cooperate, the possession of abilities, resources, etc.) (Zahavi 1975; Gintis et al. 2001). It is well known that humans actively use their altruistic acts to maintain their reputation and communicate its cost and benefits to their peers (Birkás et al. 2006; Myers and Carpenter 2007; Bereczkei et al. 2010). Depending on which strategy leads to a higher reputation, humans may mask or emphasize the cost of their altruism. For example, in the case of an altruistic act whose cost differs to an extreme degree from the average costs incurred by others’ altruistic acts, humans might communicate their actions and hide the cost (Raihani and Smith 2015; Mokos and Scheuring 2019).
Reputation can only be interpreted in comparison with the reputation of peers (Barclay 2015; Milinski 2016). Therefore, humans constantly monitor their social environment and react to others’ actions to maintain their reputations. If the reputation of a peer is increasing, others typically react with the desire to restore their reputation relative to this new level. This leads to competitive altruism, in which people compete to be considered more altruistic than others (Roberts 1998; Barclay 2004, 2011; Hardy and van Vugt 2006; Barclay and Willer 2007; Sylwester and Roberts 2010).
Gender differences in maintaining a reputation
Having a good reputation is the subject of sexual selection as well, playing an important role in inter- and intra-sexual competition (Phillips et al. 2008; Arnocky et al. 2017). A good reputation is a desirable trait in a mating partner. It is shown that both males and females prefer altruistic mating partners, and regardless of sex, more altruistic people report a higher number of sex partners than less altruistic ones (Farrelly et al. 2007; Phillips et al. 2008; Barclay 2010; Farrelly 2013; Moore et al. 2013; Oda et al. 2014; Arnocky et al. 2017). Similar to the situation in other species where females have a higher parental investment than males and are therefore more choosy about partners than males, human males experience a stronger sexual selection pressure and signal any traits more intensively to attract mates or/and to overcome same sex competitors compared to females (Bateman 1948; Buss and Schmitt 1993; Shackelford et al. 2005), whereas there is a stronger selection pressure on females to recognize altruistic cues in their potential mating partner (Phillips et al. 2008). Therefore, people behave in different ways when their potential reputation-enhancing altruistic act is observed by a potential mating partner compared to when it is observed by same-sex peers (Iredale et al. 2008). Males are more likely to be altruistic in the presence of females (Tognetti et al. 2012; Bhogal et al. 2016a, b, 2017; Farmer and Farrelly 2021), which could lead to competitive altruism in males, but this effect was reported to be less strong or absent in females (Roberts 1998; Iredale et al. 2008; Barclay 2011, 2013; McAndrew and Perilloux 2012b; van Vugt and Iredale 2013; Raihani and Smith 2015; Arnocky et al. 2017). Even though females are more altruistic, selfless and empathetic than males in everyday situations (Hoffman 1977; Eisenberg and Lennon 1983; Eagly and Crowley 1986; Erdle et al. 1992; Eckel and Grossman 1998; Croson and Buchan 1999; Andreoni and Vesterlund 2001; Skoe et al. 2002; Cox and Deck 2006; Dufwenberg and Muren 2006; Eagly and Koenig 2006; Chaudhuri and Gangadharan 2007; Simmons and Emanuele 2007; Kamas et al. 2008; Schwieren and Sutter 2008) they do not seem to be more altruistic in the presence of males (Iredale et al. 2008). However, other studies have pointed out that young females’ altruism may well depend on the presence of other young females (Tognetti et al. 2012). Further, females are more sensitive to damage to their own reputation than males (Benenson et al. 2013; Garbarini et al. 2014; Reynolds et al. 2018). These phenomena could be explained by the different same-sex friendship patterns of males and females. While males form large coalitions where friends help each other to establish a good reputation, females rather associate with one female friend at a time or in small cliques (Savin-Williams 1980; Benenson 1990; Benenson et al. 1997, 2013; Gabriel and Gardner 1999; Markovits et al. 2001; Seeley et al. 2003). These differences are present from early childhood (Savin-Williams 1980; Benenson 1990; Buhrmester and Prager 1995; Verkuyten et al. 1996; Benenson et al. 1997, 2018; Gabriel and Gardner 1999; Markovits et al. 2001; Seeley et al. 2003) and similar to coalition formation in the case of our closest relative, the chimpanzee (de Waal 1984; Langergraber et al. 2009; Surbeck et al. 2017; Benenson 2019). Overall men seem to be more sensitive to how women value their reputation and women seem to be more sensitive to the social reputation of same-gender peers (Kawasaki et al. 2016).
Charity and reputation
Charity is an altruistic act; it can thus be employed for reputation improving (Keser 2003; Barclay 2004, 2006, 2010; Albert et al. 2007). The cost of charity may easily be measured in time or money. Non-monetary donations are viewed as more morally praiseworthy in WEIRD (western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic) societies (Johnson and Park 2019), and people are more likely to perform a charitable action that could be deemed costly in terms of the time required, the pain or discomfort incurred, its difficulty or the fact that the action requires special skills (Smith and Bird 2000; Bereczkei et al. 2007; Olivola and Shafir 2013). It may therefore be assumed that non-monetary donations have a stronger reputation-increasing effect compared to donating money, and the communication of the action’s cost is likely to affect the reputation change it causes. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that donors communicate the cost of the charitable action according to the reputation change it might cause. For example, when donating money, people tend to show the amount donated only if it is average compared to the standard, and mask the cost of the outstanding (both smaller and larger than average) donations (Peacey and Sanders 2014; Raihani and Smith 2015; Mokos and Scheuring 2019).
Special types of charity situations may lead to competitive altruism. One such situation is a charity running when one person performs a charitable act that is not a monetary donation (running) and asks their friends to donate money concerning this act. Friends feel the urge to donate not only because they were asked to do so and because they support the goal of fundraising, but also (subconsciously) to restore their relative reputation compared to the runner and the peers, so the donors compete with the charity runner and the other donors. The way the runner communicates the cost of their time- and energy-consuming charitable act affects their potential reputation increase, and therefore the reaction of their friends. It might be assumed that the more the charity runner emphasizes the cost of the act to them (e.g. talking about the time spent on training for the race, or how much they don’t like running, or how performing such exercise causes them pain, etc.), the more their reputation increases by this act. With an increase in reputation, the peers of the runner feel a stronger urge to donate and to donate a higher amount. Besides this, the donations of peers also affect any single one of their donations: potential donors are more likely to donate if they know others have donated as well (Barclay 2011) and tend to make an average or just slightly above average donation compared to previous donors (Raihani and Smith 2015).
Not only the communicated cost, but naturally the charitable goal may modify the reputation of the altruist (Sargeant 1999; Barclay 2010). A ‘good’ goal does not seem selfish, but socially oriented. Contrary, when the motivation of the charitable act is unclear or perceived to be in bad faith, it might even reduce the reputation of the actor instead of increasing it. It could therefore be beneficial to donors to communicate the ‘good’ goal and the credibility of the charity to which they donate.
In this study
In summary, on the basis of direct and indirect experimental results, competitive altruism can act as a reputation-maintaining mechanism. However, the authors are unaware of any real-life data analysis examining the impact of communicating altruistic behaviour.
To address this gap in the literature, in this study a real-life competitive altruistic situation was investigated, via the study of how communicating the cost and the goal of an altruistic act determines the reputation of the altruist, and therefore affects the reaction of their peers. A charity running situation was investigated in which people enter running races and call upon their friends to sponsor them, the donations going to a therapeutic summer camp for seriously ill children.
On the basis of the points raised in the preceding discussion of competitive altruism, the following hypotheses were tested:
Runners who emphasize the cost of the run more gain a larger reputation increase, and therefore, (A) have more donors and/or (B) a higher average donation per donor, and thus (C) raise a greater amount of money overall.
Runners who emphasize the socially oriented goal of the charity run gain a larger reputation increase, and therefore, (A) have more donors and/or (B) higher average donation per donor, and (C) raise a greater amount overall.
(A) More opposite-sex donors make donations to fundraisers with higher subjective costs and/or (B) opposite-sex donors donate a higher amount to such fundraisers.
As any effect of the communication of cost and goal could be a by-product of the length of the introductory text, and as runners who write longer introductory texts might be more committed to the fundraising an explorative hypothesis was added:
There is a relationship between the length of the introductory texts and (A) the number of donors, (B) the higher average donation per donor, and thus (C) the amount of money raised.
Materials and methods
A real-life situation as the model of competitive altruism
Bátor Tábor (Courage Camp of Serious Fun Camps, https://batortabor.org/) provides therapeutic camps for seriously ill children and their families free of charge. The programs run by Bátor Tábor are funded by charity. Élménykülönítmény (Experience Detachment, ED, https://elmenykulonitmeny.hu/en/) is the Hungarian fundraiser community of Bátor Tábor. The members of ED enter running races and call upon their friends to ‘adopt’ their kilometres by donating online to Bátor Tábor. Runners have a blog-like personal webpage on the ED’s website where they publish an introduction about their motivation for being a fundraiser and the goal of the fundraising and can share details of their training, etc. (all in Hungarian, see examples and their English translation in the Supplementary). Donors donate online, through the personal webpage of the runners and decide whether their name, the amount given and an optional short message should be published on the website.
Using web scraping technics in R (R Core Team 2021) and the rvest package (Wickham 2021), the public data on the runners and donors were collected from the runners’ ED webpage (https://elmenykulonitmeny.hu). The name, profile picture and introduction of the runners, the amount of the donation collected, the distance run and the number of donors and the name and sum donated by the donors (if the donor made it public) were collected. The web scraping was undertaken on 12 December 2020, resulting in the collection of data on donations made between 21 August 2012 and 8 December 2020. All donations are given in Hungarian Forint (HUF, in 2012 the exchange rate was 1 EUR = 290 HUF, in 2019 1 EUR = 360 HUF; the median wage in Hungary in 2019 was 367,800 Ft ≃ 1000 EUR). To minimize observer bias, blinded methods were used when all behavioural data were recorded and/or analysed.
There are numerous unknown factors, such as the fundraising strategy of the runner, the size of the reference group, the runner’s personal connection with the goal, the age of the runner and their friends etc. which can modify the success of the fundraising. Even though it would have been desirable to correct for all of these effects, most of these data were not available, only the age of the runner could be extracted. The age of the runner defines the financial background of the runner (older runners have better pay), and therefore the financial opportunities of the friends of the runners (provided most of the friends are mostly the same age as the runner) and so the average amount of the donation. Knowing or estimating the age of the runners makes it possible to exclude this effect from the calculations. Although most of the runners (448) had not shared the information about their age in the introduction, their profile photo was used to estimate their age. To predict the ages of runners, all the images on their profiles were downloaded and face detection was employed, using the open-source DSFD face detector (Li et al. 2019). The facial images were then cropped along the bounding boxes given by the algorithm. This was followed by a manual validation, the aim being to obtain just the facial images of the runners, as several downloaded images had more people in them. A convolutional neural network was trained for the task. The model achieved an MSE score of 50.6 (measured in years) on a validation dataset, which means that the error of any one prediction was 7.1 years on average. This model was used for prediction on the previously cleaned dataset of facial images of the runners. For any person that had more than one facial image in the dataset, the predictions given by the model were averaged. The neural network training details are given in the Supplementary material.
The subjective cost of the running was measured by using the number and the ratio of sentences in the runners’ introduction text that referred to any difficulty related to the run. The following were considered ‘difficulties’: (1) mentions of physical and mental difficulties, (2) this race is the first the fundraiser had ever entered, (3) the distance run was regarded as long by the fundraiser, (4) the fundraiser did not like/enjoy running or exercise, (5) the fundraiser would not have run had it not been for the ED.
Communication of the socially oriented goal was measured with the number and the ratio of positive words in the runners’ introductions.
First, the texts were tokenized using magyarlanc 3.0 (Zsibrita et al. 2013), and then the meaningful words were scored according to the sentiment, using two Hungarian sentiment lexicons (Chen and Skiena 2014; Szabó 2014). If a word appeared as a positive word in any of these two lexicons, it received a score of 1. Emojis referring to positive emotions also received a score of 1. The sum of the scores was calculated for the introductions, and the number or the ratio of positive words was used. It was hypothesized that positive words mainly refer to the charitable goal, so runners who use positive words were writing about the therapeutic summer camp, emphasizing the usefulness and social benefits of the donation. This hypothesis was tested on a random sample of introduction texts, and introductions having a higher number of positive words did indeed prove to have a higher number of sentences about the summer camp and the children (see the Supplementary material). The number and the ratio of positive words could thus be used as a measure of how the fundraiser communicated the good goal of their fundraising act.
The number and the ratio of sentences referring to difficulties and positive words were used as alternative variables because it is unknown whether potential donors perceive the cost of running and communicating the socially oriented goal as additive values or rather the proportion of them within the text is estimated.
Descriptive statistics of the data
Data of 477 runners (amongst whom 245 were half-marathonists, 143 were marathonists and 89 run other distances between 2 and 160 km) and 11,089 donors were collected. Unless it is specified otherwise, only the data of marathonists and half-marathonists (388 runners, 212 females and 176 males; 9281 donors) are used in the calculation.
A series of linear mixed effect analyses were performed using R (R Core Team 2021) and the lme4 package (Bates et al. 2015) to study hypotheses 1, 2 and 4. The donation collected, the average donation or the number of donors was entered as dependent variables. The length of the introductory text (either the number of words or the number of sentences, hypothesis 4) or the communication of subjective cost (either the number or the ratio of sentences referring to difficulty, hypothesis 1) or the communication of the socially oriented goal (either the number or the ratio of the positive words used, hypothesis 2) was set as the independent variable. The age of the runner was used to control the monetary bias of donors of fundraisers of different ages (without any interaction term), as it was hypothesized that friends of a younger fundraiser are also younger and have lower pay than the friends of older fundraisers, while younger fundraisers probably have more friends and the competition between them is stronger (Bhattacharya et al. 2016). The ratio of non-anonymous donors was used to control the size of different donations received by anonymous or non-anonymous donors, as non-anonymous donors tend to donate average donation while anonymous donors donate a below or above-average donation with a higher chance (Mokos and Scheuring 2019). As random effects, there were random intercepts for the distance run, as it was hypothesized that the distance run affects the size of the average donation and amount collected, and fundraisers who run a longer distance receive a higher average donation and overall collect more than fundraisers running a shorter distance. There were random intercepts for the gender of the fundraisers as it was hypothesized that male fundraisers receive higher donations compared to female fundraisers (see supplementary material).
To study the relationship between the ratio of opposite-sex donors and the subjective cost (hypothesis 3A) two linear mixed effect analyses were performed. As fixed effects, the subjective cost (either the number or the ratio of the sentences emphasizing difficulty) and the age of the runner (without interaction term) were entered. As random effects, there were intercepts for the distance run and the gender of the runner, as well as by-subjective cost random slopes for the effect of distance run and the gender of the runner. To test whether the length of the introduction affects the ratio of opposite-sex donors, a similar linear mixed model was performed as mentioned above, using the text length measured by the number of sentences as the independent variable.
To study the relationship between the subjective cost of a runner and the donations of opposite-sex donors (hypothesis 3B), two linear mixed effect analyses were performed. As a dependent variable, the amounts donated by non-anonymous opposite-sex donors were set. As fixed effects, the subjective cost (either the number or the ratio of the sentences emphasizing difficulty) and the age of the runner (without interaction term) were entered. As random effects, there were intercepts for the distance run, the gender of the runner and the name of the runner, as well as by-subjective cost random slopes for the effect of distance run, the gender of the runner and the name of the runner. Only the data of opposite-sex donors who published both their names and the amounts were used. Donations higher or equal to 50,000 HUF were deleted as outliers, resulting in data of 1840 donors. To test whether the length of the introduction has an effect on donations given by opposite-sex donors, a similar linear mixed model was performed as mentioned above, using the text length measured by the number of sentences as the independent variable.
In the linear mixed effect analysis, visual inspection of residual plots did not reveal any obvious deviations from homoscedasticity or normality. P values were obtained using likelihood ratio tests of the full model with the effect in question against the model without the effect in question.
To compare the donation and the subjective cost of marathonists and half-marathonists, Mann–Whitney U tests were conducted.
The relationship between the age of the fundraiser and the subjective cost (measured in the number or the ratio of sentences emphasizing difficulties) was studied using Spearman correlations.
The relationship between the age of the fundraiser and the average size of donations was studied using Spearman correlations.
The relationship between the subjective cost and the ratio of the non-anonymous donors was studied using Spearman correlations.
1. Runners who emphasize the cost of the run more have more donors
Before studying the hypothesis, the question of whether there is a relationship between the subjective feeling of the cost of running and the objective cost of it, namely, the distance run, was tested. This was done by comparing the money-collecting effectiveness of marathonist to half-marathonist. Marathonists collected significantly larger donations (mean = 145,446 HUF, median = 155,000 HUF) than half-marathonists (mean = 123,955 HUF, median = 118,000 HUF) (U = 150,544, p < 0.001). Further, marathonists emphasized the cost of their run significantly more, writing a higher number and a higher ratio of sentences about the cost (Table 1), showing that the subjective cost is consistent with the objective cost (the distance run).
There was a positive relationship between the subjective cost and the number of donors regardless of whether the subjective cost was measured by the number or the ratio of sentences emphasizing the difficulties of the fundraiser (Table 2, Fig. 1).
The subjective cost seemed not to influence the average donation, as neither the number nor the ratio of the sentences emphasizing difficulties showed a relationship with the average donation, demonstrating that the reason for the larger donations collected by fundraisers with higher subjective costs is not the higher average donation but the higher number of donors attracted (Fig. 1).
The subjective cost might influence the amount collected (Table 2). There was an almost significant positive relationship between the number of sentences emphasizing difficulties and the amount collected, while the ratio of sentences did not influence the amount collected. The shown trend could be a side effect caused by the text length, as the number of sentences in the introduction text shows a positive relationship with the donation collected (Table 4).
2. Runners who emphasize the socially oriented goal of the charity run might have more donors and might collect a greater amount overall
Emphasizing the socially oriented goal more might help to collect a higher amount by attracting more potential donors (Table 3, Fig. 2). The number of positive words showed a positive relationship with the number of donors. However, the ratio of positive words did not influence the number of donors.
Emphasizing the socially oriented goal did not show any relationship with the average donation. Neither the number of positive words nor the ratio of the positive words had any influence on the average donation, demonstrating that the reason for the fact that fundraisers using more positive words collect more overall donations is not the higher average donation but the higher number of attracted donors.
Note, that the text length measured in words positively influenced both the number of donors and the donations collected, indicating that the relationship between the communicated goal and the number of donors or the donations collected might be a side effect of the length of the text.
3. Runners who write a longer introductory text have more donors but do not have a higher average donation per donor and still collect a greater amount of money overall
There was a positive relationship between the length of the introductory text and the number of donors regardless of whether the length was measured by the number of words or the number of sentences (Table 4, Fig. 3). There was a positive relationship between the length of the introductory text and the money collected overall regardless of whether the length was measured by the number of words or the number of sentences. No relationship was found between the length of the introductory text and the average donation.
4. More opposite-sex donors donate to fundraisers with higher subjective costs, but the donated amount of the opposite-sex donors does not vary with the subjective cost of the fundraiser
The subjective cost showed a positive relationship with the ratio of opposite-sex donors (Table 5). The number of sentences emphasizing difficulties positively affected the ratio of opposite-sex donors, while the ratio of the sentences emphasizing difficulties has an almost significant positive effect on the ratio of opposite-sex donors, so the gender ratio of the donors of a fundraiser with a higher subjective cost is more biassed toward the opposite sex (Fig. 4). Note that in this calculation only non-anonymous donors are included, as there was no information about the gender of anonymous donors.
The subjective cost did not show a relationship with the amounts donated by non-anonymous opposite-sex donors (Table 5).
Note, that there was no relationship between the text length measured by the number of sentences and the ratio of opposite-sex donors or the amount donated by non-anonymous opposite-sex donors.
It has been shown that more friends donate to fundraisers who write longer introductory texts. The sizes of the donations remain the same, but the higher number of donors still leads to more money collected overall.
Fundraisers who wrote a longer text might be seen as more enthusiastic or dedicated to their fundraising goal, which could convince more friends to donate. These fundraisers might allocate more energy to advertise their fundraising act, for example, talk more about their activity, share it on social media or organize donation collection events. Such activities help to reach more people and could enhance the reputation of the fundraisers which also could lead to a higher number of donors. It is also possible that fundraisers who write a longer text are more extroverted and maintain more active friendships, having a higher number of potential donors.
Further, it has been shown that fundraisers communicating higher costs do not receive a higher average donation, but since more donors donate to them, they still tend to collect more donations than fundraisers who are not advertising their subjective cost.
This result confirms that altruism (and so charity) is a sign of cooperativeness and so could trigger an altruistic response from the peers/friends of the fundraiser. Donating in response to the request of a friend also serves as friendship confirmation. The ‘louder’ the request, the greater the number of friends who respond. The donor-friend also benefits from the donation, as being seen to help also increases reputation (Roberts et al. 2021).
It was hypothesized that in response to a costlier fundraising act donors react with a higher donation for the gain in reputation of the fundraiser. Data did not support this hypothesis, as no relationship was observed between the subjective cost and the average donation. The amount donated is influenced by several factors: the financial situation of the donor, previous donations (people tend to donate an amount in line with the average donation (Martin and Randal 2008; Smith et al. 2015)), the personal relationship between the fundraiser and the donor, social expectations and so on. The lack of relationship between subjective cost and average donation could be caused by several opposing effects that mask the hypothesized correlation. For example, the correlation could be suppressed by the bystander effect: in a situation where help is required, and which is witnessed by many people, responsibility is divided amongst those present, and people are less motivated to help (Fischer et al. 2011); this includes donating less in a charitable situation if other donors are present (Garcia et al. 2002). In the present study, potential donors are aware of the number of previous donors and the amounts, as the previous donations (including anonymous donations) are visible to any potential donor on the webpage. This information leads probably to a norm-following habit, which suppresses the deviation from the previous donations.
We could not exclude that the relationship between the subjective cost and the number of donors is the side effect caused by the relationship between the length of the introduction and the subjective cost as fundraisers writing a longer introduction have more donors and overall collect a higher amount of donation. However, since when the subjective cost is measured by the ratio of the sentences emphasizing difficulties that take the length of the text out of account, the positive correlation remains significant; therefore, the relationship between the number of donors and the subjective cost still remains valid.
Similarly, the positive effect of the subjective cost on the number of donors and the donation collected might be the side effect of the relationship between the subjective cost and the age of the fundraiser. It is reasonable to assume that running is costlier for older fundraisers which is communicated by them, and at the same time, they have friends with better financial backgrounds than younger fundraisers. So, it could be assumed that age positively correlates with the communicated cost and the amount of collected money at the same time. And while there was an almost significant weak positive relationship between the age of the fundraisers and the average size of the donations (ρ = 0.09, p = 0.08) indicating older fundraisers received higher donations, rather surprisingly we found that younger fundraisers tend to communicate a higher subjective cost than older ones, regardless of whether the subjective cost is measured by the number of sentences (ρ = − 0.118, p = 0.016) or the ratio of the sentences emphasizing difficulties (ρ = − 0.114, p = 0.019).
As pointed out, contrary to the hypothesis adopted in this research, fundraisers using more positive words in their introduction, words which emphasize the socially accepted goal of the fundraising, do not receive a higher average donation. However, the results support the hypothesis that as more donors donate to them, they still collect an overall higher amount than fundraisers who do not emphasize the good goal.
People prefer to donate to charities that they regard as meaningful (Sargeant 1999), and helping those in need, especially helping children, is one of the charitable goals with the widest degree of social acceptance (Élménykülönítmény has collected 287,336,932 HUF, approx. 806,100 EUR since it opened in 2011, an outstanding result in Hungary, demonstrating its goal is socially accepted). What is more, the fundraisers’ own choice of words concerning the goodness and usefulness of the charitable goal can affect potential donors (Smith and Schwarz 2012). Fundraisers also bring the recipients of the donation (seriously ill children) closer to the potential donors, making them more identifiable, which triggers warm empathy and results in giving donations (Small et al. 2007).
People also prefer to donate to charities that they think are trustworthy. Talking about the therapeutic summer camp and how it helps the children signals the reliability of the foundation in two ways: (1) the potential donors learn how their donation would be used; (2) by investing a large effort into supporting the Bátor Tábor, the fundraiser shows the trustworthiness of the foundation, regardless of its aims (donors might donate to any foundation if it is important to a friend).
We have found that the significant effect of communication of socially oriented goals on the number of donors only appears when the number of positive words is used but not when the ratio of the words is used as an explanatory variable. The reason for this difference could be either that potential donors perceive the communication of the socially oriented goal as an additive variable, reacting to the absolute number of words or it could be again a side effect caused by the length of the introductory text (that shows a positive relationship with the number of donors, Table 4). As it is mentioned above, we could not exclude that fundraisers who write a longer introduction text might invest more heavily in fundraising (for example, advertising their fundraising on social media, or talking more about their running to their friends, etc.), or might be simply more communicative, and therefore they reach more people and collecting more money. A further study, applying a well-designed questionnaire for the fundraisers can reveal the connections between these effects.
A charitable run is a complex costly signal that signals altruism, physical well-being, a caring attitude and social sensitivity, all of which can be attractive traits both for females and males. We studied here how the communicated subjective cost as an altruistic signal affects opposite- and same-sex donors. Earlier it was shown in an online donating situation that physically more attractive fundraisers receive more and larger donations compared to less attractive fundraisers. Further, male donors compete with each other by responding larger amount if a male donates a large amount to more attractive female fundraisers previously (Raihani and Smith 2015). We have shown here that fundraisers communicating a higher cost in their costly signal have a higher ratio of opposite-sex donors. This result is consistent with the general view that charity runners may be viewed as attractive mating partners, which leads to a higher ratio of opposite-sex donors if charity run is communicated to be more costly. Note that unlike the results of hypotheses 1 and 2, the ratio of the opposite-sex donors does not depend on the length of the introduction text; therefore, it could be considered a more solid result.
The positive relationship between the ratio of opposite-sex donors and the subjective cost may emerge roughly in four different ways: as the fundraisers emphasize their difficulties more (1) the number of opposite-sex donors increases and the number of same-sex donors remains constant; (2) the number of opposite-sex donors remains constant and the number of same-sex donors decreases; (3) the number of opposite-sex donors increases while the number of same-sex donors decreases; (4) the absolute number of opposite-sex donors remains constant but more opposite-sex donors decide to publish their names instead of donating anonymously. Unfortunately, the dataset used in this study is not suitable to test which scenario is happening, but further, with a more elaborated data, we can explore it in the future.
A positive relationship between the subjective cost and the ratio of opposite-sex donors could be created by an increasing number of opposite-sex donors choosing to donate non-anonymously. As no correlation could be demonstrated between the ratio of non-anonymous donors and the subjective cost (measured by the number of sentences: p = 0.14, rho = 0.08, measured by the ratio of the sentences rho = 0.077, p = 0.119), this hypothesis should be at least partly rejected.
The reputation of the fundraisers depends not only on the fundraising activities but also on the success of the fundraising. It could be assumed that the more donations the fundraiser collects, the greater the reputation increase they receive. Potential same-sex donors might feel their reputation threatened by the fundraisers and compensate not by donating, and therefore increasing their own reputation, but by refusing to donate to decrease the reputation of the fundraiser. This latter strategy would increase the relative reputation of the (potential) donor as well. Unfortunately, the dataset used in this study is not suitable to test this hypothesis.
To conclude, based on real-life data, the present research shows that fundraising functions as a costly signal and how fundraisers communicate the cost and goal affects the potential donors. Communicating a higher subjective cost attracts more potential donors, and even though the individual donations remain invariable, a higher number of donors results in a greater amount donated overall. It has also been demonstrated that fundraisers who communicate a higher subjective cost attract a higher ratio of opposite-sex donors.
The data is deposited on github https://github.com/mokjud/mokos_scheuring_Communicating-the-cost-of-your-altruism-makes-you-cool.
Albert M, Güth W, Kirchler E, Maciejovsky B (2007) Are we nice(r) to nice(r) people?—an experimental analysis. Exp Econ 10:53–69. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10683-006-9131-3
Andreoni J, Vesterlund L (2001) Which is the fair sex? Gender differences in altruism. Q J Econ 116:293–312. https://doi.org/10.1162/003355301556419
Apicella CL (2014) Upper-body strength predicts hunting reputation and reproductive success in Hadza hunter–gatherers. Evol Hum Behav 35:508–518. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.07.001
Arnocky S, Piché T, Albert G, Ouellette D, Barclay P (2017) Altruism predicts mating success in humans. Brit J Psychol 108:416–435. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12208
Barclay P (2004) Trustworthiness and competitive altruism can also solve the “tragedy of the commons.” Evol Hum Behav 25:209–220. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2004.04.002
Barclay P (2006) Reputational benefits for altruistic punishment. Evol Hum Behav 27:325–344. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2006.01.003
Barclay P (2010) Altruism as a courtship display: some effects of third-party generosity on audience perceptions. Brit J Psychol 101:123–135. https://doi.org/10.1348/000712609X435733
Barclay P (2011) Competitive helping increases with the size of biological markets and invades defection. J Theor Biol 281:47–55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtbi.2011.04.023
Barclay P (2012) Harnessing the power of reputation: strengths and limits for promoting cooperative behaviors. Evol Psychol 10:868–883. https://doi.org/10.1177/147470491201000509
Barclay P (2013) Strategies for cooperation in biological markets, especially for humans. Evol Hum Behav 34:164–175. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2013.02.002
Barclay P (2015) Reputation. In: Buss D (ed) The handbook of evolutionary psychology, 2nd edn. John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ, pp 810–828. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119125563.evpsych233
Barclay P, Willer R (2007) Partner choice creates competitive altruism in humans. Proc R Soc B 274:749–753. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2006.0209
Bateman AJ (1948) Intra-sexual selection in drosophila. Heredity 2:349–368
Bates D, Maechler M, Bolker B, Walker S (2015) Fitting linear mixed-effects models using lme4. J Stat Soft 67:1–48. https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v067.i01
Benenson J, Apostoleris N, Parnass J (1997) Age and sex differences in dyadic and group interaction. Dev Psychol 33:538–543. https://doi.org/10.1037//0012-16126.96.36.1998
Benenson JF (1990) Gender differences in social networks. J Early Adolesence 10:472–495. https://doi.org/10.1177/0272431690104004
Benenson JF (2019) Sex differences in human peer relationships: a primate’s-eye view. Cur Dir Psychol Sci 28:124–130. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721418812768
Benenson JF, Markovits H, Hultgren B, Nguyen T, Bullock G, Wrangham R (2013) Social exclusion: more important to human females than males. PLoS ONE 8:e55851. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0055851
Benenson JF, White MM, Pandiani DM, Hillyer LJ, Kantor S, Markovits H, Wrangham RW (2018) Competition elicits more physical affiliation between male than female friends. Sci Rep 8:8380. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-26544-9
Bereczkei T, Birkas B, Kerekes Z (2007) Public charity offer as a proximate factor of evolved reputation-building strategy: an experimental analysis of a real-life situation. Evol Hum Behav 28:277–284. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2007.04.002
Bereczkei T, Birkas B, Kerekes Z (2010) Altruism towards strangers in need: costly signaling in an industrial society. Evol Hum Behav 31:95–103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.07.004
Bhattacharya K, Ghosh A, Monsivais D, Dunbar RIM, Kaski K (2016) Sex differences in social focus across the life cycle in humans. R Soc Open Sci 3:160097. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.160097
Bhogal MS, Galbraith N, Manktelow K (2016a) Sexual selection and the evolution of altruism: males are more altruistic and cooperative towards attractive females. Lett Evol Behav Sci 7:10–13. https://doi.org/10.5178/lebs.2016.42
Bhogal MS, Galbraith N, Manktelow K (2016) Physical attractiveness and altruism in two modified dictator games. Basic Appl Soc Psych 38:212–222. https://doi.org/10.1080/01973533.2016.1199382
Bhogal MS, Galbraith N, Manktelow K (2017) Physical attractiveness, altruism and cooperation in an ultimatum game. Curr Psychol 36:549–555. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-016-9443-1
Birkás B, Bereczkei T, Kerekes Z (2006) Generosity, reputation, and costly signaling: a preliminary study of altruism toward unfamiliar people. J Cult Evol Psychol 4:173–181. https://doi.org/10.1556/JCEP.4.2006.2.5
Bliege Bird R, Power EA (2015) Prosocial signaling and cooperation among Martu hunters. Evol Hum Behav 36:389–397. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.02.003
Buhrmester D, Prager K (1995) Patterns and functions of self-disclosure during childhood and adolescence. In: Rotenberg KJ (ed) Disclosure processes in children and adolescents. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 10–56. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511527746.002
Buss DM, Schmitt DP (1993) Sexual strategies theory: evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behav Brain Sci 12:1–49
Chaudhuri A, Gangadharan L (2007) An experimental analysis of trust and trustworthiness. South Econ J 73:959–985. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2325-8012.2007.tb00813.x
Chen Y, Skiena S (2014) Building sentiment lexicons for all major languages. In: Toutanova K, Wu H (eds) Proceedings of the 52nd annual meeting of the association for computational linguistics (volume 2: short papers). Association for Computational Linguistics, Stroudsburg, PA, pp 383–389
Cox JC, Deck CA (2006) When are women more generous than men? Econ Inq 44:587–598. https://doi.org/10.1093/ei/cbj042
Croson R, Buchan N (1999) Gender and culture: international experimental evidence from trust games. Am Econ Rev 89:386–391
de Waal FBM (1984) Sex differences in the formation of coalitions among chimpanzees. Ethol Sociobiol 5:239–255. https://doi.org/10.1016/0162-3095(84)90004-9
Dufwenberg M, Muren A (2006) Generosity, anonymity, gender. J Econ Behav Org 61:42–49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2004.11.007
Eagly AH, Crowley M (1986) Gender and helping behavior: a meta-analytic review of the social psychological literature. Psychol Bull 100:283–308. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.100.3.283
Eagly AH, Koenig AM (2006) Social role theory of sex differences and similarities: implication for prosocial behavior. In: Dindia K, Canary DJ (eds) Sex differences and similarities in communication, 2nd edn. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, Mahwah, NJ, pp 161–177
Eckel CC, Grossman PJ (1998) Are women less selfish than men?: evidence from dictator experiments. Econ J 108:726–735. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0297.00311
Eisenberg N, Lennon R (1983) Sex differences in empathy and related capacities. Psychol Bull 94:100–131. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.94.1.100
Erdle S, Sansom M, Cole MR, Heapy N (1992) Sex differences in personality correlates of helping behavior. Pers Individ Differ 13:931–936. https://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(92)90010-M
Farmer S, Farrelly D (2021) Men increase time spent on a charitable task when in the presence of women and other men: evidence of competitive altruism in online mating scenarios. Curr Psychol. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-021-02173-w
Farrelly D (2013) Altruism as an indicator of good parenting quality in long-term relationships: further investigations using the mate preferences towards altruistic traits scale. J Soc Psychol 153:395–398. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224545.2013.768595
Farrelly D, Lazarus J, Roberts G (2007) Altruists attract. Evol Psychol 5. https://doi.org/10.1177/147470490700500205
Fehr E, Fischbacher U (2003) The nature of human altruism. Nature 425:6960. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02043
Feigin S, Owens G, Goodyear-Smith F (2014) Theories of human altruism: a systematic review. J Psychiatry Brain Funct 1:5. https://doi.org/10.7243/2055-3447-1-5
Fischer P, Krueger JI, Greitemeyer T, Vogrincic C, Kastenmüller A, Frey D, Heene M, Wicher M, Kainbacher M (2011) The bystander-effect: a meta-analytic review on bystander intervention in dangerous and non-dangerous emergencies. Psychol Bull 137:517–537. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023304
Gabriel S, Gardner WL (1999) Are there ‘his’ and ‘hers’ types of interdependence? The implications of gender differences in collective versus relational interdependence for affect, behavior, and cognition. J Pers Soc Psychol 77:642–655. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.522
Garbarini F, Boero R, D’Agata F, Bravo G, Mosso C, Cauda F, Duca S, Geminiani G, Sacco K (2014) Neural correlates of gender differences in reputation building. PLoS ONE 9:e106285. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0106285
Garcia SM, Weaver K, Moskowitz GB, Darley JM (2002) Crowded minds: the implicit bystander effect. J Pers Soc Psychol 83:843–853. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2063
Gintis H, Smith EA, Bowles S (2001) Costly signaling and cooperation. J Theor Biol 213:103–119. https://doi.org/10.1006/jtbi.2001.2406
Gurven M, Allen-Arave W, Hil K, Hurtado M (2000) “It’s a wonderful life”: signaling generosity among the Ache of Paraguay. Evol Hum Behav 21:263–282. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1090-5138(00)00032-5
Hardy CL, van Vugt M (2006) Nice guys finish first: the competitive altruism hypothesis. Pers Soc Psychol Bull 32:1402–1413. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167206291006
Hoffman ML (1977) Sex differences in empathy and related behaviors. Psychol Bull 84:712–722. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.84.4.712
Iredale W, van Vugt M, Dunbar R (2008) Showing off in humans: male generosity as a mating signal. Evol Psychol 6:147470490800600300. https://doi.org/10.1177/147470490800600302
Johnson S, Park SY (2019) Moral evaluations of time versus money donations (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3343284). SSRN, https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3343284
Kamas L, Preston A, Baum S (2008) Altruism in individual and joint-giving decisions: what’s gender got to do with it? Femin Econ 14:23–50. https://doi.org/10.1080/13545700801986571
Kaplan H, Hill K (1985) Hunting ability and reproductive success among male Ache foragers: preliminary results. Curr Anthropol 26:131–133. https://doi.org/10.1086/203235
Kawasaki I, Ito A, Fujii T, Ueno A, Yoshida K, Sakai S, Mugikura S, Takahashi S, Mori E (2016) Differential activation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex between male and female givers of social reputation. Neurosci Res 103:27–33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neures.2015.07.010
Keser C (2003) Experimental games for the design of reputation management systems. IBM Systems J 42:498–506. https://doi.org/10.1147/sj.423.0498
Langergraber K, Mitani J, Vigilant L (2009) Kinship and social bonds in female chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Am J Primatol 71:840–851. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.20711
Li J, Wang Y, Wang C, Tai Y, Qian J, Yang J, Wang C, Li J, Huang F (2019) DSFD: dual shot face detector. 2019 IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR). IEEE, Long Beach, CA, pp 5055–5064. https://doi.org/10.1109/CVPR.2019.00520
Lyle HF, Smith EA (2014) The reputational and social network benefits of prosociality in an Andean community. P Natl Acad Sci USA 111:4820–4825. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1318372111
Macfarlan SJ, Quinlan R, Remiker M (2013) Cooperative behaviour and prosocial reputation dynamics in a Dominican village. Proc R Soc B 280:20130557. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.0557
Macfarlan SJ, Remiker M, Quinlan R (2012) Competitive altruism explains labor exchange variation in a Dominican community. Curr Anthropol 53:118–124. https://doi.org/10.1086/663700
Markovits H, Benenson J, Dolenszky E (2001) Evidence that children and adolescents have internal models of peer interactions that are gender differentiated. Child Dev 72:879–886. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00321
Martin R, Randal J (2008) How is donation behaviour affected by the donations of others? J Econ Behav Org 67:228–238. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2007.08.001
McAndrew FT, Perilloux C (2012a) Is self-sacrificial competitive altruism primarily a male activity? Evol Psychol 10:147470491201000100. https://doi.org/10.1177/147470491201000107
McAndrew FT, Perilloux C (2012b) The selfish hero: a study of the individual benefits of self-sacrificial prosocial behavior. Psychol Rep 111:27–43. https://doi.org/10.2466/07.02.09.19.PR0.111.4.27-43
Milinski M (2016) Reputation, a universal currency for human social interactions. Phil Trans R Soc B 371:20150100. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0100
Milinski M, Semmann D, Krambeck H-J (2002a) Reputation helps solve the ‘tragedy of the commons.’ Nature 415:424–426. https://doi.org/10.1038/415424a
Milinski M, Semmann D, Krambeck H-J (2002b) Donors to charity gain in both indirect reciprocity and political reputation. Proc R Soc B 269:881–883. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2002.1964
Mokos J, Scheuring I (2019) Altruism, costly signaling, and withholding information in a sport charity campaign. Evol Mind Behav 17:10–18. https://doi.org/10.1556/2050.2019.00007
Moore D, Wigby S, English S, Wong S, Székely T, Harrison F (2013) Selflessness is sexy: reported helping behaviour increases desirability of men and women as long-term sexual partners. BMC Evol Biol 13:182. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-13-182
Myers CK, Carpenter JP (2007) Why volunteer? Evidence on the role of altruism, reputation, and incentives. SSRN, https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1014584
Oda R, Okuda A, Takeda M, Hiraishi K (2014) Provision or good genes? Menstrual cycle shifts in women’s preferences for short-term and long-term mates’ altruistic behavior. Evol Psychol 12. https://doi.org/10.1177/147470491401200503
Olivola CY, Shafir E (2013) The martyrdom effect: when pain and effort increase prosocial contributions. J Behav Decis Making 26:91–105. https://doi.org/10.1002/bdm.767
Peacey M, Sanders M (2014) Masked heroes: endogenous anonymity in charitable giving. The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, Universty of Bristol, UK. https://econpapers.repec.org/paper/bricmpowp/14_2f329.htm. Accessed 06/05/2022
Phillips T, Barnard C, Ferguson E, Reader T (2008) Do humans prefer altruistic mates? Testing a link between sexual selection and altruism towards non-relatives. Brit J Psychol 99:555–572. https://doi.org/10.1348/000712608X298467
Post SG (2005) Altruism, happiness, and health: it’s good to be good. Int J Behav Med 12:66–77. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327558ijbm1202_4
Power EA, Ready E (2018a) Building bigness: reputation, prominence, and social capital in rural South India. Am Anthropol 120:444–459. https://doi.org/10.1111/aman.13100
Power EA, Ready E (2018b) Why wage earners hunt: food sharing, social structure, and influence in an Arctic mixed economy. Curr Anthropol 59. https://doi.org/10.1086/696018
R Core Team (2021) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R foundation for statistical computing, Vienna, Austria. https://www.R-project.org. Accessed 07/03/2022
Raihani NJ, Smith S (2015) Competitive helping in online giving. Curr Biol 25:1183–1186. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.02.042
Reynolds T, Baumeister RF, Maner JK (2018) Competitive reputation manipulation: women strategically transmit social information about romantic rivals. J Exp Soc Psychol 78:195–209. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2018.03.011
Roberts G (1998) Competitive altruism: from reciprocity to the handicap principle. Proc R Soc B 265:427–431. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.1998.0312
Roberts G, Raihani N, Bshary R, Manrique HM, Farina A, Samu F, Barclay P (2021) The benefits of being seen to help others: Indirect reciprocity and reputation-based partner choice. Phil Trans R Soc B 376:20200290. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0290
Romano A, Giardini F, Columbus S, de Kwaadsteniet EW, Triki Z, Snijders C, Hagel K (2021) Reputation and socio-ecology in humans. Phil Trans R Soc B 376:20200295. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0295
Salahshour M (2019) Evolution of costly signaling and partial cooperation. Sci Rep 9:8792. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-45272-2
Sargeant A (1999) Charitable giving: towards a model of donor behaviour. J Mark Manage 15:215–238. https://doi.org/10.1362/026725799784870351
Savin-Williams RC (1980) Dominance hierarchies in groups of middle to late adolescent males. J Youth Adolesc 9:75–85. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02088381
Schwieren C, Sutter M (2008) Trust in cooperation or ability? An experimental study on gender differences. Econ Lett 99:494–497. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econlet.2007.09.033
Seeley EA, Gardner WL, Pennington G, Gabriel S (2003) Circle of friends or members of a group? Sex differences in relational and collective attachment to groups. Group Process Interg Relat 6:251–263. https://doi.org/10.1177/13684302030063003
Shackelford TK, Schmitt DP, Buss DM (2005) Universal dimensions of human mate preferences. Pers Individ Differ 39:447–458. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2005.01.023
Simmons WO, Emanuele R (2007) Male-female giving differentials: are women more altruistic? J Econ Stud 34:534–550. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443580710830989
Skoe EEA, Cumberland A, Eisenberg N, Hansen K, Perry J (2002) The influences of sex and gender-role identity on moral cognition and prosocial personality traits. Sex Roles 46:295–309. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1020224512888
Small DA, Loewenstein G, Slovic P (2007) Sympathy and callousness: the impact of deliberative thought on donations to identifiable and statistical victims. Organ Behav Hum Decis Process 102:143–153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2006.01.005
Smith EA, Bird RLB (2000) Turtle hunting and tombstone opening: public generosity as costly signaling. Evol Hum Behav 21:245–261. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1090-5138(00)00031-3
Smith RW, Schwarz N (2012) When promoting a charity can hurt charitable giving: a metacognitive analysis. J Consum Psychol 22:558–564. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcps.2012.01.001
Smith S, Windmeijer F, Wright E (2015) Peer effects in charitable giving: evidence from the (running) field. Econ J 125:1053–1071. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecoj.12114
Surbeck M, Girard-Buttoz C, Boesch C, Crockford C, Fruth B, Hohmann G, Langergraber KE, Zuberbühler K, Wittig RM, Mundry R (2017) Sex-specific association patterns in bonobos and chimpanzees reflect species differences in cooperation. R Soc Open Sci 4:161081. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.161081
Sylwester K, Roberts G (2010) Cooperators benefit through reputation-based partner choice in economic games. Biol Lett 6:659–662. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2010.0209
Szabó MK (2014) Egy magyar nyelvű szentimentlexikon létrehozásának tapasztalatai [Experiences of creation of a Hungarian sentiment lexicon]. In: Gecső T (ed) „Nyelv, kultúra, társadalom”, Tinta Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary, pp 278–285
Tognetti A, Berticat C, Raymond M, Faurie C, Mesoudi A (2012) Sexual selection of human cooperative behaviour: an experimental study in rural Senegal. PLoS ONE 7:e44403. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0044403
van Vugt M, Iredale W (2013) Men behaving nicely: public goods as peacock tails. Brit J Psychol 104:3–13. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8295.2011.02093.x
Verkuyten M, Hagendoorn L, Masson K (1996) The ethnic hierarchy among majority and minority youth in The Netherlands. J Appl Soc Psychol 26:1104–1118. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1996.tb01127.x
von Rueden CR, Jaeggi AV (2016) Men’s status and reproductive success in 33 nonindustrial societies: effects of subsistence, marriage system, and reproductive strategy. P Natl Acad Sci USA 113:10824–10829. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1606800113
Wedekind C, Milinski M (2000) Cooperation through image scoring in humans. Science 288:850–852. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.288.5467.850
Wickham H (2021) Rvest: Easily harvest (Scrape) web pages. R package version 1.0.2, https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=rvest. Accessed 07/03/2022
Zahavi A (1975) Mate selection—a selection for a handicap. J Theor Biol 53:205–214. https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-5193(75)90111-3
Zsibrita J, Vincze V, Farkas R (2013) magyarlanc: a tool for morphological and dependency parsing of Hungarian. In: Mitkov R, Angelova G, Bontcheva K (eds) Proceedings of the International Conference Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing RANLP 2013. Incoma Ltd, Shoumen, Bulgaria, pp 763–771. https://aclanthology.org/R13-1099. Accessed 07/03/2022
This paper and the research behind it would not have been possible without the data of Bátor Tábor and Élménykülönítmény and their enthusiastic charity runners and volunteers. We are grateful for their cooperation. The authors thank Paul Thatcher for correcting English and the anonymous referees for their insightful comments and suggestions.
Open access funding provided by ELKH Centre for Ecological Research. The research was funded by the Hungarian National Fund, NKFI (K128289).
This research did not contain any studies involving animal or human participants, nor did it take place in any private or protected areas. The data used in this study is publicly available on the webpage of the studied charity running community (elmenykulonitmeny.hu).
Consent to participate
As the data used in this study is publicly available on the webpage of the studied charity running community (elmenykulonitmeny.hu), no patient consent statement was needed.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no competing interests.
Communicated by M. Raymond
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.
About this article
Cite this article
Mokos, J., Csillag, M. & Scheuring, I. Communicating the cost of your altruism makes you cool—competitive altruism and sexual selection in a real-life charity situation. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 77, 17 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-023-03293-y
- Sexual selection
- Real-life data