The Effect of Photographs of the Handicapped on Donation to Charity: When a Thousand Words May be too Much


Requests for reprints should be scnt to Dr. Alice M. Isen, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, Catonsdle, MD 21228.


One of us had agreed to participate in the “Mothers' March” (on Birth Defects) of the March of Dimes. The collecting packet arrived without an identification badge, however. Much of the March of Dimes literature bears the picture of a handicapped child, but some does not. The question facing us as we set out to collect for the “Mothers' March” was whether or not to include a picture of a handicapped child on the identifying poster which we would present to potential donors as we made our rounds, door-todoor. A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. But what would be the effect of a thousand words when collecting door-tedoor on behalf of a charity such as the March of Dimes?