A meta-analysis of the dictator game: how has individual generosity been impacted by the covid-19 pandemic

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Melo, Viveka
Finch, W. Holmes (William Holmes)
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The present study investigated the impact of the historic COVID-19 pandemic with respect to individual generosity. An exploratory research question was developed based on the many explanatory factors that have been found linked to charitable giving. Literature in altruism, prosocial behavior, and pandemic phenomenon provided the theoretical background and rationale for the classic economics experiment, the Dictator Game, to serve as the outcome variable for individual generosity. A random-effects meta-analysis of means was conducted to evaluate the overall generosity measured from 6 dictator game studies (from a starting sample of 75) that were selected in a rigorous literature search and review process. Results of analysis find only a slight increase in individual generosity, which might be expected given the nature of human altruism. Future research should consider replication of this analysis when more COVID- 19 research has been peer-reviewed and published as it would improve the strength of some analyses conducted.