Conforming Conservatives: How Salient Social Identities Can Increase Donations

Journal of Consumer Psychology, Forthcoming

44 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2017

See all articles by Andrew Kaikati

Andrew Kaikati

Saint Louis University - Chaifetz School of Business

Carlos J. Torelli

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Karen Page Winterich

Pennsylvania State University - Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business Administration

Maria Rodas

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Date Written: June 2017

Abstract

This research considers how common perceptions of liberals’ generosity can be harnessed for increasing donations. Given conservatives’ greater tendency to conform to group norms than liberals, we theorize that conformity tendencies can increase donations by conservatives when accountable to a liberal audience who share a salient identity. Specifically, conservatives donate more when they are accountable to a liberal audience with whom they have a salient shared identity (Study 1) due to their motivation for social approval (Studies 3 and 4). However, if the donation context activates political identity (Studies 2 and 3) or if the unifying social identity is not salient (Study 4), accountability does not impact donation decisions. Notably, liberals do not alter their behavior, ruling out alternative explanations for the pattern of conformity. This research provides insight into the distinct role of accountability for conservatives and importance of audience characteristics for conformity. Though both liberals and conservatives can be generous, this research demonstrates how conformity can be used to increase charitable giving among conservatives.

Keywords: Political Ideology; Charitable Behavior; Social Identity; Social Norms; Conformity

Suggested Citation

Kaikati, Andrew and Torelli, Carlos J. and Winterich, Karen Page and Rodas, Maria, Conforming Conservatives: How Salient Social Identities Can Increase Donations (June 2017). Journal of Consumer Psychology, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2980940

Andrew Kaikati

Saint Louis University - Chaifetz School of Business ( email )

Cook Hall
3674 Lindell Blvd
Saint Louis, MO 63108
United States

Carlos J. Torelli

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Karen Page Winterich (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University - Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business Administration ( email )

University Park, PA 16802
United States

Maria Rodas

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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