Recent experiments in psychology suggest that when people are given the profile of an individual needy person they are more likely to donate money on their behalf than when confronted with the needs of an entire population of people. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9_MWjILO6A) This would explain many peoples reluctance to give to charitable causes or make very worthy public investments even when that investment is described to benefit millions of their fellow citizens. The conclusion is that we must adjust our social institutions to take into account this aspect of our moral intuitions, and exploit the maximum possible benefit of our empathetic capacity.
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