Numerous studies showed that people respond more generously to individual identified victims than to equivalent statistical victims, which is referred to as the “identifiable victim effect” (IVE). While the previous literature examined the IVE for human and animal victims, we focus on vegetal entities that can be threatened. Thanks to a between design allowing to increase the degree of plants’ identifiability, we test whether IVE is likely to enhance farmers’ participation in a conservation program, using mail survey data among a sample of French farmers located in the Vaucluse area. Unlike humans and animals, we found that IVE does not matter regarding plants, as farmer willingness to participate in the compensation measures was found to decrease as the (plant) victim(s) become more identifiable. Moreover, this figure is even stronger with respect to organic farmers compared to their conventional counterparts.
Does the identifiable victim effect matter for plants? Results from a quasi-experimental survey of French farmers
5 June 2018