Exploring the role of contextual behavioural science variables and education in the prosocial domain of global poverty and human rights

Thompson, Miles; Bond, Frank W.; Lloyd, Jo; Anslow, Samantha and Berry, Emily. 2022. Exploring the role of contextual behavioural science variables and education in the prosocial domain of global poverty and human rights. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 23, pp. 165-173. ISSN 2212-1447 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Two preliminary, single session, lab-based experiments sought to examine the differing roles of: contextual behavioural science variables (i.e. ACT/mindfulness), charity focused education and control conditions in terms of their influence on donations to charities operating in the fields of global poverty and human rights. Across the two studies, participants (n = 83, n = 85) were compensated for their time and after completing self-report questionnaires were introduced to the work of Oxfam and/or Amnesty International and asked if they would donate any of their compensation to the charities (ask 1). Following this, participants listened to a single audio recording containing either: ACT/mindfulness material or relevant charity education content. Control conditions were also used. Participants were then asked again if they wished to donate any of their compensation to charity (ask 2), before being given their actual compensation and having the opportunity to donate some, none or all of it for real (ask 3). Results indicate a bimodal distribution in donation data forcing a change in analytic strategy to non-parametric statistics. Psychological flexibility measures did not significantly correlate with donation data. And neither ACT nor mindfulness audio recordings significantly moved the donation data across the asks. However, charity education material significantly and positively moved donation data between ask 1 and ask 3. The paper discusses possible reasons for the results and explores future avenues for research in the prosocial area.

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Identification Number (DOI):



Prosocial, Global poverty, Human rights, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Psychological flexibility, Contextual Behavioural Science, Mindfulness, Education, Helping behaviour, Bimodal data

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies


13 January 2022Accepted
15 January 2022Published Online
January 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

02 Feb 2022 09:41

Last Modified:

08 Feb 2022 09:41

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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