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