Chang, C. T., Chen, Y. C., and Chang, C. H. 2022. Being Alone Deserves More Sympathy? Influences of Victim Number, Cause Acuteness and Individual Differences in Self-Construal on Charitable Advertising Effectiveness. NTU Management Review, 32 (2): 85-122. doi:10.6226/NTUMR.202208_32(2).0003
Chun-Tuan Chang, Department of Business Management, National Sun Yat-sen University
Yi-Chia Chen, Department of Business Management, National Sun Yat-sen University
Chia-Han Chang, Department of Business Management, National Sun Yat-sen University
In the current research, we propose that the effect of victim number is subject to cause acuteness and individual differences in self-construal, and conduct three experiments to test our hypotheses. While Studies 1 and 3 both set in the non-profit context, Study 2 focuses on the context of cause-related marketing, in which the charitable campaign is initiated by a fictious company. In these three studies, we use a 2 (victim number: single vs. group) × 2 (cause acuteness: sudden disaster vs. ongoing tragedy) × 2 (self-construal: interdependent vs. independent) between-subjects design. The results reveal that when people with interdependent self-construal read a story of a sudden disaster depicting group victims, the advertising effectiveness is greater than the same story depicting a single victim. Meanwhile, we find opposite modes of operation on people with independent self-construal. Nonetheless, we find no such differences of self-construal when participants read a story of ongoing tragedy depicting either a single victim or group victims. Additionally, with the focus on investigating the role of guilt in Study 3, we prove that guilt is the underlying mechanism that explains the three-way interaction effect among victim number, cause acuteness and self-construal.
charity advertisingidentified victim effectcause acutenessself-construalguilty