Vol.41 Issue.3, 2022

  • How Consumers React to Charity Requests for Time and Money

Authors: Ming-Yi Chen

Pages: 15-40


Publish date: 2022/07/01

Download: PDF


Purpose – This research argues that visual stimuli with temperature cues will lead to different construal level mindsets, which in turn influence the persuasive effectiveness of prosocial behavior.

Design/methodology/approach – Study 1A utilized a simple one-factor (visual stimuli: warmth versus coldness) design, through the use of a video. Study 1B manipulated the visual stimuli with print images, and tested the path of these stimuli and the prosocial behavior mediated by construal level mindsets. Study 2 considered the interaction effects of a visual stimulus, the message construal (i.e., why versus how), and resource requests (i.e., money versus time) on prosocial behavior, to replicate the findings from Study 1. Finally, Study 3 used nonprofit organization print advertisements as the manipulation material for cold and warm visual stimuli.

Findings – Study 1A provided a preliminary demonstration of the link between visual stimuli with temperature cues and construal level mindsets, while Study 1B found that when people were exposed to a cold visual cue, this led to lower amounts of monetary donations as a result of their abstract mindsets. Study 2 revealed that when the message construal is abstract (concrete), a visual stimulus with a cold (warm) cue will lead to higher time contribution (monetary donations). Study 3 demonstrated that the concrete message alignment influence on preferred resource contribution type was mediated by construal level mindsets.

Practical implications/Social implications – Our findings provide marketers of nonprofit organizations, who intend to appeal for monetary donations or time contribution, with a specific means of utilizing visual stimuli with temperature cues to increase the persuasive effectiveness of charity marketing campaigns.

Originality/value – This research considers time resources in prosocial behavior, rather than being limited to the question of monetary donations. Moreover, there seems to be no research to directly link the physical feelings of warmth and coldness to construal level mindsets.

Keywords – Construal level theory, Cold versus warm visual stimuli, Resource request, Prosocial behavior


Ming-Yi Chen (2022), "How Consumers React to Charity Requests for Time and Money," Management Review, 41(3), 15-40. https://doi.org/10.6656/MR.202207_41(3).ENG015