We donate to charities for lots of reasons: because we’re generally magnanimous people, because we care deeply about certain issues or because it’s the only way to get Meg to stop talking about the plight of the endangered proboscis monkey.
And for men, there may be another force at play: a subconscious desire to impress the ladies.
Researchers in the United Kingdom reviewed thousands of online donation pages from the 2014 Virgin London Marathon. Runners participating in the marathon usually put up a fundraising page where they can raise money for a charity of their choice. And donations are made publicly, so the researchers could keep track of donors’ names and how much they contributed.
Culture and hormones can help explain the behavior as well, notes David Geary, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Missouri who wasn’t involved with the study, which was published Thursday in Current Biology.
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