“I” Give, But “We” Give More: the Impact of Identity and the Mere Social Information Effect on Donation Behavior

Jen Shang, Indiana University
Rachel Croson, University of Pennsylvania
Americus Reed, University of Pennsylvania
Three field studies and one laboratory experiment explore the “mere social information” effect: When donation contributions are affected by information about another’s level of giving. Experiments 1a and 1b demonstrate the effect. Experiment 2 shows it can occur when identity congruence is high. Experiment 3 shows that the effect is a joint function of identity congruence, the strength of identification, and the collective nature of underlying focal thoughts at the time of deciding the amount to give. Theoretical and substantive implications of these findings are discussed.
[ to cite ]:
Jen Shang, Rachel Croson, and Americus Reed (2007) ,"“I” Give, But “We” Give More: the Impact of Identity and the Mere Social Information Effect on Donation Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 421-428.