ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2021, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (4): 413-430.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00413

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


冉雅璇1, 牛熠欣1(), 陈斯允2   

  1. 1中南财经政法大学工商管理学院, 武汉 430073
    2暨南大学管理学院, 广州 510632
  • 收稿日期:2020-07-29 出版日期:2021-04-25 发布日期:2021-02-22
  • 通讯作者: 牛熠欣
  • 基金资助:

“More” is less: Why multiple payment mechanism impairs individual donation

RAN Yaxuan1, NIU Yixin1(), CHEN Siyun2   

  1. 1School of Business Administration, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan 430073, China
    2School of Management, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
  • Received:2020-07-29 Online:2021-04-25 Published:2021-02-22
  • Contact: NIU Yixin


支付渠道通常是捐赠信息中的必要元素。研究基于元认知推断理论, 探讨了支付渠道数量因素(多个vs.单一)对个体捐赠的作用机制。通过6个实验和1个单文章元分析, 结果发现:相比单一支付渠道, 多个支付渠道反而会抑制个体捐赠的金额和意愿, 感知商业化和道德怀疑连续中介以上效应。关键原因在于, 多支付渠道在商业化背景下的频繁应用会使得人们持有“多支付渠道=商业化”的朴素信念。基于此, 个体会对多个(vs.单一)支付渠道的捐赠信息产生感知商业化的元认知推断, 进而怀疑捐赠对象的道德性, 最后弱化捐赠意愿与行为。此外, 朴素信念的可诊断性具有调节作用。具体而言, 当“多支付渠道=商业化”朴素信念的可诊断性低时, 个体将无法产生感知商业化的元认知推断过程, 从而弱化多个(vs.单一)支付渠道对个体捐赠的负面作用。

关键词: 个体捐赠, 支付渠道数量, 元认知推断, 感知商业化, 可诊断性


Almost all transactions require the information of payment--payment mechanism. It is increasingly common nowadays that venders prone to harness multiple payment mechanism to provide potential convenience for their consumers, including under donation scenarios. Inevitably, the morality people valued in donation scenarios are different from other transactions. A growing of recent studies have investigated the donation payment, while surprisingly very few studies have examined whether a donation activity should be accompanied with either one payment mechanism or multiple payment mechanism. In the current study, we extend the extent literature by examining how potential donators respond to donation with either one payment mechanism or multiple payment mechanisms.
People subjectively associate things that often come together. In our daily lives, multiple payment mechanism is applied in commercial scenarios so frequently that people may elicit a conclusion that is “multiple payment mechanisms = commercialization.” In this research, we propose that when consumers encounter multiple payment mechanisms (versus one payment mechanism) with the information of seeking help, they would feel incongruence and then make metacognitive inferences about their evaluations toward the target based on the “multiple payment mechanism = commercialization” lay belief. Specifically, we propose that compared to one payment mechanism, multiple payment mechanism leads people less likely to donate via the following metacognition inference process: consumers (1) notice the multiple payment mechanism, (2) infer that the information of donation must contain commercial components, based on the “multiple payment mechanisms = commercialization” lay belief, to explain their inner feelings, and (3) because the perception of commercialization is contrary to the positive moral expectations (e.g., loyalty, sanctity), consumers may be skeptical to the morality of the target which in turn attenuates their donation. Further, we suggest that the main effect of the number of payment mechanism on individual donation should be contingent on the diagnosticity of the lay belief. When the “multiple payment mechanisms = commercialization” is low diagnositic, the negative effect of multiple (vs. one) payment mechanism on donation should be suppressed.
One pilot study and six experimental studies were conducted to examine our hypotheses. Pilot study used supraliminal tasks to examine the existence of the “multiple payment mechanism = commercialization” lay belief. Study 1a ( N = 342) was a 4 (number of payment mechanism: one vs. two vs. three vs. four) between-subjects design, excluding the impact of different number of payment mechanisms. Study 1b (N = 295) was a 5 (number of payment mechanism: control vs. one [Bestpay] vs. one [Bank of China] vs. one [Alipay] vs. three) with the purpose of excluding the impact of different types of payment mechanisms and initially validating the mediating role of perceived commercialization. Study 2 (N = 298) further confirmed the robustness of the main effect for different receiving targets with a 2 (number of payment mechanism: one vs. four) × 2 (target: person vs. organization) between-subjects design. Study 3 ( N = 140) examined the serial mediating effect of perceived commercialization and moral suspicion. Studies 4 (N = 173) and 5 (N = 224) identified the moderating effect of the diagnosticity of “multiple payment mechanism = commercialization” lay belief by using different manipulations of diagnosticity. Specifically, Study 4 was a field study in which we measured people’s real donation behavior. To document a robust effect, we varied the context of donation and payment methods across all studies.
Our investigation suggests that relative to one payment mechanism, multiple payment mechanism may dampen individual donate. This effect would be attenuated when the “multiple payment mechanism = commercialization” lay belief is not used (i.e., low diagnosticity). These findings offer novel insights on literature regarding donation, payment, number effect, and metacognition inference, while practically suggesting that sponsor of donation activities must carefully consider the number of payment mechanism.

Key words: individual donation, number of payment mechanism, metacognitive inference, perceived commercialization, diagnosticity