These studies investigate the different effects of altruistic (beneficiary-focused) appeals, egoistic (supporter-gain focused) appeals, and appeals which encourage readers/viewers to refer, relate or compare aspects of the appeals to themselves. 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Keywords: guilt, altruistic (beneficiary-focused), egoistic (supporter-focused)

 

Source: ‘Guilt regulation: The relative effects of altruistic versus egoistic appeals for charity advertising’, by C. Chang, Journal of Advertising (2014) vol. 43.3, pp.211-227

 

Conclusions: This study compared the effectiveness of altruistic and egoistic messages: altruistic messages suggest that giving can bring benefits to those in need; egoistic messages suggest that giving can bring meaning and happiness to donors’ lives. The results suggested that

1. Egoistic messages were more effective in eliciting donations from people who have never donated and tend to feel guilty for their inaction.

2. In these circumstances, the act of donation increased the donor’s happiness, but did not reduce their feelings of guilt

3. Generally (i.e. for most recipients, and when the recipient’s donor history is not known) a combination of high guilt + egoistic message combination was most effective for increasing donation intentions.

 

Key caveats: This experiment was conducted in laboratory conditions and not in the UK (the location was not clarified but is likely to be Taiwan), and most of the participants were undergraduates. The test did, however, involve actual donation, not just self-report of attitudes/beliefs relating to hypothetical situations/donations.          

 

URL/DOI: 10.1080/00913367.2013.853632

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Keywords: self-focus, persuasion

 

Source: ‘Effects of self-relevant perspective-taking on the impact of persuasive appeals’, by I. W. Hung and R. S. Wyer, Jr., Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (2014) vol. 40.3, pp.402-414

 

Conclusions: This study found that:

1. Drawing attention to the reader’s self increased the impact of the message when the reader was similar to the protagonist of the story.

2. Drawing attention to the reader’s self decreased the impact of the message when the reader was moderately dissimilar to the protagonist of the story.

3. Drawing attention to the reader’s self did not influence the impact of the message when the reader was very dissimilar to the protagonist.

 

Key caveats: All participants were Singaporean Chinese undergraduates. This study took place under laboratory conditions.

 

URL/DOI: 10.1177/0146167213513474

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Keywords: story, beneficiary identifiability, statistics, altruistic (beneficiary-focused) appeals, egoistic (supporter-focused) appeals

 

Source: ‘Advertising strategies for charities: Promoting consumers’ donation of time versus money’, by N. Kim, International Journal of Advertising (2014) vol. 33.4, pp.707-724

 

Conclusions: In three tests

1. Supporter-focused appeals (foregrounding the benefits for the supporter of the act of donating) were more effective in eliciting donations of money than donations of time (i.e. volunteering).

2. Beneficiary-focused appeals (foregrounding the cause/need of the beneficiaries) were more effective in eliciting donations of time than donations of money.

3. Showing beneficiaries in need attracted more monetary donations than donations of time.

4. Showing beneficiaries who had already been helped in some way more donations of time than donations of money.

5. Use of a photograph of a beneficiary who was similar to the reader was more likely to elicit donation of time in comparison to a photograph of a beneficiary who was very different to the reader (e.g. lived far away, of a different ethnic group, etc.). 

 

Key caveats: The tests took place in Korea.

 

URL/DOI: 10.2501/IJA-33-4-707-724

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Keywords: demographic, gender, persuasion, altruistic vs. egoistic appeals, self-focus

 

Source: ‘The ‘I’ of the beholder: How gender differences and self-referencing influence charity advertising’, by C.-T. Chang and Y.-K. Lee, International Journal of Advertising (2011) vol. 30.3, pp.447-478

 

Conclusions: This study found that

1. Altruistic appeals (i.e. focused on helping others) result in more favourable attitudes and a stronger intention to donate for women than for men.

2. Egoistic appeals (i.e. focused on the benefits to the donor of the act of donating) result in more favourable attitudes and a stronger intention to donate for men than for women.

3. Appeals which prompt the reader to relate an issue to themselves (e.g. through the story or image of a similar person, or through reference to the reader’s own possible future or the future of their socio-cultural group) are more effective for men than for women.

4. Altruistic appeals (i.e. focused on helping others) with low or no content which prompt the reader to relate an issue to themselves (e.g. through the story or image of a similar person, or through reference to the reader’s own possible future or the future of their socio-cultural group) are more effective for men than for women.

5. Contrary to what is suggested by other research, egoistic appeals (i.e. focused on the benefits to the donor of the act of donating) with low or no content which prompt the reader to relate an issue to themselves (e.g. through the story or image of a similar person, or through reference to the reader’s own possible future or the future of their socio-cultural group) are more effective for women than for men.

 

Key caveats: The study participants tended to be younger, more affluent and more engaged with charitable giving that a more representative sample group.      

 

URL/DOI: 10.2501/IJA-30-3-447-478

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________