It's fair to say most people think of giving to charity as a good thing to do. If we have extra resources, it feels right to help people who are less fortunate.
But there are complicated factors at work in helping us determine who should get our money. In a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, researchers pick apart what makes us tighten our purse strings. And what it finds may have implications not only for people's charitable giving but also how they feel about how Washington spends their tax dollars.