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The effect of children’s facial expressions in eliciting benevolent behavior for child sponsorships versus one-time donations

Hyunkyu Jang (Department of Marketing, College of Business, Governors State University, University Park, Illinois, USA)

Journal of Social Marketing

ISSN: 2042-6763

Article publication date: 9 June 2021

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the influence of personal distress on donor choice of happy- or sad-faced child in two donation contexts, monetary donations and child sponsorships.

Design/methodology/approach

This research conducted two experimental studies, in which participants chose a child to benefit out of eight needy children.

Findings

More people chose sad-faced children than happy-faced children in monetary donations, whereas in child sponsorships, the preference for sad-faced over happy-faced children disappeared: people chose happy-faced children as often as they chose sad-faced children.

Originality/value

This research distinguishes between two types of personal distress, experienced and anticipated distress, explaining why donor choices of child differ between monetary donations (where only experienced distress is present) and child sponsorships (where both experienced and anticipated distress are present).

Keywords

Citation

Jang, H. (2021), "The effect of children’s facial expressions in eliciting benevolent behavior for child sponsorships versus one-time donations", Journal of Social Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSOCM-07-2020-0113

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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