The Impact of Social Norms and Pressures on Donation Habits
Nam, Yujung (Mentor)
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Why do people donate money? Out of the goodness of their heart? Maybe they donate because “that’s what everyone else is doing.” This study is on how people react differently to social pressures in face-to-face communication and computer mediated communication when faced with the opportunity to donate money to a cause. This study aims to examine how social factors influence donation habits and measure the impact of said influence in both in-person and online donation opportunities. It is hypothesized that people are more influenced by their peers in face-to-face interactions and therefore more likely to donate in person than online. Participants will be males and females between the ages of 18 and 30. Participants will be subjected to surveys and interviews, in which their current donation habits will be recorded and their potential donation habits compared based on demographics and interest. How participants react to negative versus positive emotional appeals will be documented, along with the emotional results (feelings of inspiration opposed to pressure). Participants will view donation websites with identical content in different platforms e.g., a laptop and smart phone, and will also answer questions regarding hypothetical scenarios. Reactions to specific website properties (such as format and word choice) and appeals made by the cause will be observed and conclusions drawn regarding what factors make people more likely to donate money.