Every day, social impact practitioners trying to do good in the world work to activate audiences based on assumptions they have about what drives people to support causes. Often these assumptions come from a little bit of experience and a lot of what social scientists call confirmation bias, our tendency to seek out data that confirms what we already believe to be true. But it turns out that many of the assumptions we make are only partially borne out by science. This applied literature review research explores the concepts of altruism, empathy and efficacy and how we can best use these ideals in our everyday work to activate cause supporters.
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