Nugget of Knowledge: Hurricane name influences donations

Psychologists aren't sure why this prompts donations

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Have you contributed to hurricane relief? Any hurricane within the past few weeks?

Then, what’s your name?

In 2008, a study at the University of Michigan uncovered something odd.

Psychologists looked at donations to disaster relief after seven major hurricanes and found that a lot depended on your name.

The people who contributed the most after hurricane Katrina were named Katrina and Kate, Kevin and Keith. They shared an initial with the storm.

It’s not clear why this is. We know we care about things that are relevant to us. In the case of a hurricane, this may mean we’re more likely to remember information about victims and thus be more likely to donate.

We might feel a subconscious sense of responsibility when the storm shares our initial. We feel we must donate something, help out somehow, to feel better.

Did you miss an episode of Daybreak or want to re-visit a previous ‘Nugget’? View previous ‘Nugget of Knowledge’ entries on WYTV.com.

If you have an idea for a ‘Nugget of Knowledge,’ send your idea in an email to Len.Rome@wytv.com.