ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B
主办:中国心理学会
   中国科学院心理研究所
出版:科学出版社

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (12): 1351-1362.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01351

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The impact of congruency between moral appeal and social perception on charitable donation

CHEN Siyun1,WEI Haiying1,2(),MENG Lu3   

  1. 1 Management School, Jinan University
    2 The Institute of Enterprise Development, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
    3 School of Business, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
  • Received:2018-09-30 Online:2019-12-25 Published:2019-10-21
  • Contact: Haiying WEI E-mail:tweihy@jnu.edu.cn

Abstract:

Previous research has long paid attention to how to improve persuasive effectiveness in charitable donation. Based on moral foundation theory (MFT) and stereotype content model (SCM), this paper proposes that a match between moral appeal and social perception leads higher persuasive effectiveness of individual donation. More specifically, relative to those who are exposed to a binding appeal, consumers who are exposed to an individualizing appeal are more willing to donate for warmth-oriented organizations. However, for competence- oriented organizations, a binding appeal will garner higher persuasive effectiveness than an individualizing appeal. Furthermore, two types of efficacy (i.e., self-efficacy and response efficacy) mediate the interaction effect of moral appeal and social perception on donation effectiveness.
Three lab experiments were conducted to examine these hypotheses. In particular, experiment 1 employed a 3 (moral appeal: binding appeal vs. individualizing appeal vs. neutral) × 2 (social perception: warmth-oriented vs. competence-oriented) two-way between-subjects design. We found that competence-oriented (vs. warmth-oriented) organizations will obtain better donation persuasion results when consumers are exposed to binding (vs. individualizing) appeal, supporting the hypotheses H1a and H1b. Then, in experiment 2, we identified the underlying mechanism, such that the interaction effect is driven by consumers’ response efficacy and self-efficacy, verifying the hypotheses H2a and H2b. Experiment 3 further examined the mediating role of different types of efficacy using a moderation approach. Participants were randomly assigned to one of condition of 3 (moral appeal: binding appeal vs. individualizing appeal vs. neutral) × 2 (social perception: warmth- oriented vs. competence-oriented) × 2 (efficacy: self-efficacy vs. response efficacy). Experiment 3 replicated the findings of previous experiments, showing the robustness of our conclusions. We also ruled out some alternative explanations (e.g., empathy) in the study.
Theoretically, this research observes for the first time the interactive effect of moral appeal and social perception, thus extending both moral foundation theory and stereotype content model. The current study also enriches existing donation literature by examining the mediating role of response efficacy and self-efficacy. Managerially, this research has rich implications to charitable organization and companies when they aim to improve persuasive effectiveness in an individual donation.

Key words: moral appeal, warmth, competence, donation, self-efficacy, response efficacy

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