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What Do People Think Is the Best Way to Give Charity?

Art Markman: Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, often called the Rambam by Jewish scholars) argued that the best gift-giving situations are those in which the donor does not know the recipient and the recipient does not know the donor. Next are cases in which the donor remains anonymous but knows who the recipient is, followed by those in which the recipient remains anonymous but knows the donor. Last are cases in which both parties are aware of the identities of the other. As influential as this framework has been (particularly in religious circles), it isn’t obvious how other people would view these kinds of donations. A paper by Julian De Freitas, Peter DeScioli, Kyle Thomas, and Steven Pinker in the January 2019 issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General explored this question.

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