Professor in Evolutionary Psychology, Work and Organizational Psychology


Evolution and Cooperation

From games to giving (2007)

Van Lange, P., Bekkers, R., Schuyt, T., & Van Vugt, M. (2007). From games to giving: Social value orientation predicts donations to noble causes. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 29, 375-384. 



The central purpose of the present research is to examine the ability of social value orientation (i.e., prosocial, individualistic, and competitive orientation), as measured with methods rooted in game theory (i.e., decomposed games), to predict real-life prosocial behavior. Consistent with hypotheses, results revealed that individual differences in social value orientation are predictive of various donations. Relative to individualists and competitors, prosocials reported to engage in a greater number of donations, especially donations to organizations aimed at helping the poor and the ill. Results are discussed in terms of theory and methodology regarding the individual differences in social value orientation, as well as in terms of societal implications for enhancing donations to noble causes.

Copyright © 2012– Mark van Vugt