The help may be far away: The effect of construal level and social distance on charity donations
Is it possible to influence people´s willingness to donate money? In two experiments we investigated whether participant´s (N = 417) willingness to donate money to a charitable cause could be influenced by mental representations and social distance towards the donation target. In both experiments we manipulated the perceived social distance towards the donation target, and the construal level of the donation appeal. Results from both experiments provided further support for the effect of social distance on willingness to donate money to a charitable cause, that is, participants where more willing to donate money to a socially close cause (Experiment 1) and to a familiar organization (Experiment 2). However, the two experiments challenge earlier findings on the role of construal level. In our studies, participants were less willing to donate to a specific individual compared with a more abstract (but known) charity organization (Experiment 1) and equally willing to donate money when presented with a low-level construal donation appeal compared with a high-level construal donation appeal (Experiment 2). Implications for theory and future research are discussed.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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