Adding Choice Without Adding Choice Conflict: Using Quantity Requests to Increase Donation Rates
63 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2017 Last revised: 15 Feb 2020
Date Written: February 13, 2020
Across 10 studies, we provide evidence that quantity requests, wherein people consider multiple choice options of how much they might give as opposed to simply whether or not they will give, increase the likelihood that people give. Quantity requests increase contribution rates relative to binary choice (yes/no) requests (donations in Study 1 and volunteering time in Study 2). This effect is not driven by simply streamlining donation decisions (Study 3) and extends to both new and returning donors (Study 4). Quantity requests also outperform other requests with multiple donation options (Studies 5A-5B). We propose that quantity requests are unique, because they simultaneously increase perceptions that others are giving without introducing choice conflict among options (Studies 6A-6B & 7). Finally, we present one way to transform non-quantity requests to be more effective. Specifically, adding an artificial scale alongside choice options converts the request into a quantity request and increases contribution likelihood (Study 8). Our findings offer a practical nudge for promoting prosocial action and a theoretical framework of why certain requests increase donation rates.
Keywords: charitable giving, prosocial behavior, framing effects, quantity requests, donation requests, donation rates
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