Framing Beneficiary Photos to Elicit Donations in Online Medical Crowdfunding: Through the Perspectives of Sympathy and Deliberation

32 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2022

See all articles by Xiaopan Wang

Xiaopan Wang

Zhejiang Gongshang University (ZJGSU)

Junpeng Guo

Tianjin University

Yi Wu

Tianjin University - College of Management and Economics

Date Written: June 17, 2022

Abstract

Beneficiary photos on charity appeals are believed to engender prosocial behavior. This study explores photo framing of healthy and unhealthy beneficiary photos in the context of photo-rich online medical crowdfunding. Based on framing theory, emphasis framing effect (i.e., unhealthy photos only vs. both healthy and unhealthy photos) and equivalency framing effect (i.e., healthy photos prior to unhealthy photos vs. unhealthy photos prior to healthy photos) are identified. Results of a scenario-based experiment with 135 participants reveal that disclosing both healthy and unhealthy photos can elicit stronger sympathy and perceived need than merely disclosing unhealthy photos. Moreover, the framing order of unhealthy photos prior to healthy photos leads to a higher level of sympathy than the framing order of healthy photos prior to unhealthy photos. Furthermore, sympathy and perceived need are positively related to donation intention. Our study provides a theoretical understanding of the photographic narratives of campaign projects in the crowdfunding literature. It also offers practical guidance in the aspects of the framing effect of beneficiary photos for crowdfunding management.

Keywords: Medical Crowdfunding, Photo Framing, Framing Theory, Beneficiary Photos, Sympathy, Perceived Need

JEL Classification: M15, M37

Suggested Citation

Wang, Xiaopan and Guo, Junpeng and Wu, Yi, Framing Beneficiary Photos to Elicit Donations in Online Medical Crowdfunding: Through the Perspectives of Sympathy and Deliberation (June 17, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4164909 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4164909

Xiaopan Wang

Zhejiang Gongshang University (ZJGSU) ( email )

Department Of Statistics & Mathematics
Zhejiang
China

Junpeng Guo

Tianjin University ( email )

92, Weijin Road
Nankai District
Tianjin, Tianjin 300072
China

Yi Wu (Contact Author)

Tianjin University - College of Management and Economics ( email )

NO.92 Weijin Road
Nankai District
Tianjin, 300072
China

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