How Can You Say “No”? Deference Granted to Advocates Who Are Victims

Rebecca Ratner, University of Maryland, USA
Min Zhao, University of Toronto, Canada
Dale Miller, Stanford University, USA
How does social influence guide individuals’ willingness to donate money or time to a cause? We find that advocates who are either direct or indirect victims of a cause are more influential than those who are not. Although the perceived importance of the cause does not increase, donors feel that they should support the cause because they do not want to be disrespectful to the advocate who is a victim. This social influence extends only to requests for the related cause and not for unrelated causes (e.g., American Cancer Society but not American Heart Association if the victim had cancer).
[ to cite ]:
Rebecca Ratner, Min Zhao, and Dale Miller (2009) ,"How Can You Say “No”? Deference Granted to Advocates Who Are Victims", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 202-205.