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The influence of message repetition on the willingness to help individuals at risk

The influence of message repetition on the willingness to help individuals at risk
The influence of message repetition on the willingness to help individuals at risk
The plight of individuals who are at risk is often alleviated by the pro-social actions of others (e.g., benevolent acts, philanthropic endeavors and charitable donations). However, what motivates individuals to help others at risk is not fully understood. In two studies, we assessed the extent to which an individual’s willingness to act pro-socially was influenced by the number of times that he/she was exposed to information about a person at risk. In Study 1, participants (N = 244) were exposed to such information across three consecutive weeks either on three separate occasions, one occasion, or not at all. At the end of the study, all participants were awarded a monetary bonus and invited to donate all/some of the bonus to a charity that could help such people at risk. The results showed that a higher proportion (p < 0.01) of participants who saw the information on three occasions (cf. one occasion or no occasions) donated to charity and, on average, they also donated a higher amount of money (p < 0.01). Study 2 tested whether the results of Study 1 were attributable to a ‘recency effect’ (i.e., that in Study 1 pro-social behaviors were highest among participants who saw the information on three occasions because these were the only participants exposed to the information immediately prior to being asked to make a donation). In Study 2, participants (N = 163) were exposed to the information about a person at risk in either the first of three consecutive weeks or in the last of the same three consecutive weeks. Again, participants were awarded a bonus and invited to donate all/some to a relevant charity. The results showed that a recency effect existed, with significantly (p < 0.05) more of the participants who were exposed to the information in the last (cf. first) week making a donation and, on average, donating a higher amount (p < 0.05). Notably, across both studies, the participants who donated the highest mean amount were those in Study 1 who saw the information about someone at risk on multiple occasions.
decision making, risk communication
Dawson, Ian
dff1b440-6c83-4354-92b6-04809460b01a
Katsikopoulos, Konstantinos
b97c23d9-8b24-4225-8da4-be7ac2a14fba
Dawson, Ian
dff1b440-6c83-4354-92b6-04809460b01a
Katsikopoulos, Konstantinos
b97c23d9-8b24-4225-8da4-be7ac2a14fba

Dawson, Ian and Katsikopoulos, Konstantinos (2019) The influence of message repetition on the willingness to help individuals at risk. The 28th Annual Conference of the Society for Risk Analysis - Europe: Systemic Risks: From Natural Hazards to Cyber Risks, Potsdam, Germany. 24 - 26 Jun 2019.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

The plight of individuals who are at risk is often alleviated by the pro-social actions of others (e.g., benevolent acts, philanthropic endeavors and charitable donations). However, what motivates individuals to help others at risk is not fully understood. In two studies, we assessed the extent to which an individual’s willingness to act pro-socially was influenced by the number of times that he/she was exposed to information about a person at risk. In Study 1, participants (N = 244) were exposed to such information across three consecutive weeks either on three separate occasions, one occasion, or not at all. At the end of the study, all participants were awarded a monetary bonus and invited to donate all/some of the bonus to a charity that could help such people at risk. The results showed that a higher proportion (p < 0.01) of participants who saw the information on three occasions (cf. one occasion or no occasions) donated to charity and, on average, they also donated a higher amount of money (p < 0.01). Study 2 tested whether the results of Study 1 were attributable to a ‘recency effect’ (i.e., that in Study 1 pro-social behaviors were highest among participants who saw the information on three occasions because these were the only participants exposed to the information immediately prior to being asked to make a donation). In Study 2, participants (N = 163) were exposed to the information about a person at risk in either the first of three consecutive weeks or in the last of the same three consecutive weeks. Again, participants were awarded a bonus and invited to donate all/some to a relevant charity. The results showed that a recency effect existed, with significantly (p < 0.05) more of the participants who were exposed to the information in the last (cf. first) week making a donation and, on average, donating a higher amount (p < 0.05). Notably, across both studies, the participants who donated the highest mean amount were those in Study 1 who saw the information about someone at risk on multiple occasions.

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More information

Published date: 24 June 2019
Venue - Dates: The 28th Annual Conference of the Society for Risk Analysis - Europe: Systemic Risks: From Natural Hazards to Cyber Risks, Potsdam, Germany, 2019-06-24 - 2019-06-26
Keywords: decision making, risk communication

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432331
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432331
PURE UUID: 939ae33f-a501-4b90-83b3-1e354398a5ed
ORCID for Ian Dawson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0555-9682

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Jul 2019 16:30
Last modified: 11 Jul 2019 00:32

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