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Those who take part in cultural activities, including going to concerts, are more likely to donate to charity and volunteer.
In a new study carried out by psychologists from the Universities of Lincoln and Kent, people who engaged in the arts were found to be more likely to give to charity regardless of their income or social background.
Dr Julie Van de Vyver, one of the authors on the research said: “We were surprised by the statistical strength of these findings, and were struck by the powerful and unique implications of the evidence for the role of the arts in creating and maintaining society-wide prosociality.
“If the arts can be such a powerful social psychological catalyst to foster and maintain prosociality, then there is a social and economic case that the arts make a crucial contribution towards a cohesive and socially prosperous society. ”
One of the reasons for the link between the arts and charitable giving could be that the arts encourage empathy with others.
Dr Van de Vyver told the i paper “ Our theory is that the arts can create shared meaning between people involved in arts activities or events. This shared meaning can then encourage greater empathy and kindness for others.”
Professor Dominic Abrams at the University of Kent’s School of Psychology, who co-authored the research, said: “Because any person in any part of the world can engage in the arts either by creating or by observing others’ creations, people’s engagement with the arts is a way in which experiences and meaning becomes shared.
The research was published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.