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09.08.2019 | Original Paper

Helping the Homeless: The Role of Empathy, Race and Deservingness in Motivating Policy Support and Charitable Giving

Zeitschrift:
Political Behavior
Autoren:
Kimberly Gross, Julie Wronski
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11109-019-09562-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Abstract

What will motivate citizens to support efforts to help those in need? Charitable organizations seeking support for their cause will often use the story of a specific individual to illustrate the problem and generate support. We explore the effectiveness of this strategy using the issue of homelessness. Specifically, we examine the role that the race of beneficiaries featured in a message, and the inclusion of deservingness cues highlighting external attributions for an individual’s homelessness have on willingness to donate to the homeless and support government efforts to address homelessness. Utilizing two experiments with a nationally representative probability sample and an online opt-in quota sample, we find significant effects of deservingness information on expressions of sympathy, and on support for government efforts to address homelessness when viewing individuals from one’s own racial group. Direct effects on charitable giving are inconsistent across studies, with modest evidence that deservingness cues are associated with donation behavior in one. We also uncover interesting heterogeneity in how individuals react to a message about the homeless based on their predispositions. We discuss the implications for those utilizing this messaging strategy.

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Zusatzmaterial
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 3500 kb)
11109_2019_9562_MOESM1_ESM.docx
Literatur
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