The Impact of Gratitude-Embedded Messages on Online Pro-Social Behaviors

56 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2015 Last revised: 19 Nov 2016

See all articles by Dobin Yim

Dobin Yim

Fordham University - Gabelli School of Business

Siva Viswanathan

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business

Henry C. Lucas

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business

Date Written: November 15, 2016

Abstract

Using detailed social broadcasting data from an online charitable giving campaign on Twitter, we evaluate two competing models of economic incentives on online pro-social behavior. Specifically, we focus on the effectiveness of gratitude-embedded messages on online charitable giving behavior, conditional on the distance the message travels over social networks. We use two novel methods in text mining – topic modeling and personality extraction techniques – to operationalize message content and user heterogeneity, and employ a two-stage message reception-donation model for parameter estimation. We find that gratitude-embedded messages produce more favorable results than donation-matching messages. While the effect of both gratitude-embedded messages as well as donation-matching messages dissipate over network distance, we find that the effect of gratitude-embedded messages decays more slowly and that gratitude has more resilience over longer network distances compared to monetary incentives such as donation-matching.

Keywords: Social Networks, Gratitude, Prosocial Behaviors, Charitable Giving, Topic Modeling, Twitter

Suggested Citation

Yim, Dobin and Viswanathan, Siva and Lucas, Henry C., The Impact of Gratitude-Embedded Messages on Online Pro-Social Behaviors (November 15, 2016). Robert H. Smith School Research Paper No. RHS 2694084, Fordham University Schools of Business Research Paper No. 2694084, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2694084 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2694084

Dobin Yim

Fordham University - Gabelli School of Business ( email )

113 West 60th Street
Room 625B
New York, NY New York 10023
United States

Siva Viswanathan (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States

Henry C. Lucas

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States

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