Psychology of Giving
Aaker, Jennifer, Kathleen Vohs and Cassie Mogilner (2010), “Non-Profits Are Seen as Warm and For-Profits as Competent: Firm Stereotypes Matter,” forthcoming at Journal of Consumer Research.
Consumers use warmth and competence, two fundamental dimensions that govern social judgments of people, to form perceptions of firms. Three experiments showed that consumers perceive non-profits as being warmer than for-profits, but as less competent. Further, consumers are less willing to buy a product made by a non-profit than a for-profit because of their perceptions of the firm’s lack of competence. Consequently, when perceived competence of a non-profit is boosted through subtle cues that connote credibility, discrepancies in willingness to buy disappear. In fact, when consumers perceive high levels of competence and warmth, they feel admiration for the firm – which translates to consumers’ increased desire to buy. This work highlights the importance of consumer stereotypes about non-profits and for-profits that, at baseline, come with opposing advantages and disadvantages, but which can be altered.
- Media coverage: Financial Times, Wharton Journal, BNET, Indo-Asian News Service, USA Today, FirstScience.com, Finance.Boston.com. For a short summary of the work, click here and see Design Mind article
Aaker, Jennifer and Toshi Akutsu (2009), “Why Do People Give? The Role of Identity in Giving,” Journal of Consumer Psychology, (19), 267-270.
Why do people give to others? One principal driver involves one’s identity: who one is and how they view themselves. The degree to which identities are malleable, involve a readiness to act, and help make sense of the world have significant implications determining whether and how much people give. Drawing on the Identity-Based Motivation model (IBM; Oyserman, 2009), we provide a tripartite framework to help advance the research on the psychology of giving.
- Media coverage: Business Week, International Business Times, Money, Digital50, Associated Press Financial News, Ascribe News
Liu, Wendy and Jennifer Aaker (2008), "The Happiness of Giving: The Time-Ask Effect ," Journal of Consumer Research. 35 (October), 543-557.
This research examines how a focus on time versus money can lead to two distinct mindsets which impact consumers' willingness to donate to charitable causes. The results of three experiments, conducted both in the lab and in the field, reveal that asking individuals to think about "how much time they would like to donate" (versus "how much money they would like to donate") to a non-profit increases the amount that they ultimately will donate to the company. Insight into the psychological mechanism suggests that asking people for time donations increases the happiness they feel in making the donation. Implications for charitable giving, emotional well-being and happiness are discusses.
For more details on our HopeLab, see http://www.hopelab.org/
- Media coverage: NYTimes, Washington Post, MarketWatch, Associated Press, National Public Radio, Digital50, Thomson Reuters, Times Online, Forbes, StreetInsider. Business Wire, Clinical Oncology Week, The Times, BusinessPundit, Moneywatch.com, CBS Interactive. For a short summary of the work, click here