It Hurts So Good ... for Charity
No one likes to inflict pain or discomfort upon themselves, like dumping a bucket of ice water over their head, unless it's for a good cause, says Christopher Olivola, assistant professor of marketing at the Tepper School of Business.
Olivola, whose research focuses on human decision-making and behavioral economics, has conducted a series of studies and experiments examining the science of charitable giving. His findings help explain the fundraising successes of campaigns that are linked to physical activities requiring pain or effort, like running a marathon or even the widely popular "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge," a fundraiser to support victims of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
"Our studies have demonstrated that when someone endures pain for a charitable cause, for example by soaking themselves in ice-cold water, the sacrifice of their own comfort makes their contribution to the cause seem far more meaningful than if they were baking cookies or attending a charitable ball. This is what we have termed as the 'Martyrdom Effect.' The result is that monetary giving increases accordingly," Olivola said.
Pittsburgh Biennial Opens at Miller Gallery
The Miller Gallery's Pittsburgh Biennial exhibition opens tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 19, and features an eclectic group of artists living in or connected to Pittsburgh. The exhibit runs through Nov. 30.
Using processes in painting, sculpture, video and sound, these artists collect and reconfigure the data and debris of today's world, producing works with a fresh perspective. Throughout the exhibition, a rotating roster of presentations will showcase innovative experiments in dance, social practice, performance and more.
Happy Birthday, Smiley
The School of Computer Science will mark the 32nd birthday of Smiley, the :-) emoticon, with Smiley cookies and other giveaways at 11:45 a.m. Friday on The Cut.
Smiley's inventor, Scott Fahlman, research professor in the Language Technologies Institute, will be on hand to talk about what prompted him to first use the emoticon on a CMU computer bulletin board on Sept. 19, 1982.