ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (6): 1019-1024.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.01019

• Research Reports • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Descriptive norms promote willingness to voluntarily donate blood rather than actual blood donation

XIE Kai-Jie1,2, MA Jia-Tao1, HE Quan3, JIANG Cheng-Ming1()   

  1. 1 School of Management, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310023, China
    2 College of Education, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310023, China
    3 School of Politics and Public Administration, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310023, China
  • Received:2018-05-11 Online:2019-06-15 Published:2019-04-22
  • Contact: JIANG Cheng-Ming


The term descriptive norms refers to the influence of most peoples’ practices on the attitudes and behaviors of others. This study attempted to use descriptive norms to promote the willingness of participants to donate blood voluntarily and engage in other blood-donation behaviors. The study consisted of two similar experiments. Experiment 1 investigated the effects of descriptive norms on blood donation and found that descriptive norms increased participants’ willingness to donate blood, but not their actual donation of blood. Given the results of Experiment 1, Experiment 2 was designed to increase blood-donation activity by sending participants “short message service” reminders. However, Experiment 2 also found no increase in the participants’ blood-donation activity. These two experiments consistently demonstrated that descriptive norms promoted participants’ willingness to donate blood voluntarily but did not promote their actual donation of blood. The paper discusses possible reasons for these results.

Key words: nudge, voluntary blood donation, descriptive norms, short message services

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