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Lost letter measure of variation in altruistic behaviour in 20 neighbourhoods.

Holland, J; Silva, AS; Mace, R; (2012) Lost letter measure of variation in altruistic behaviour in 20 neighbourhoods. PLoS One , 7 (8) , Article e43294. 10.1371/journal.pone.0043294. Green open access

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Abstract

Altruistic behaviour varies across human populations and this variation is likely to be partly explained by variation in the ecological context of the populations. We hypothesise that area level socio-economic characteristics will determine the levels of altruism found in individuals living in an area and we use a lost letter experiment to measure altruism across 20 neighbourhoods with a wide range of income deprivation scores in London, UK. The results show a strong negative effect of neighbourhood income deprivation on altruistic behaviour, with letters dropped in the poorest neighbourhoods having 91% lower odds of being returned than letters dropped in the wealthiest neighbourhoods. We suggest that measures of altruism are strongly context dependant.

Type: Article
Title: Lost letter measure of variation in altruistic behaviour in 20 neighbourhoods.
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043294
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0043294
Language: English
Additional information: © Holland et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. PMCID: PMC3419711 RM was funded by the European Research Council and ASS was funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Keywords: Altruism, Female, Humans, Income, London, Male, Odds Ratio, Poverty, Probability, Questionnaires, Residence Characteristics, Socioeconomic Factors
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1358157
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