Is Crowdfunding Altruistic or Egoistic? The Influences of Social Cause and Message Types on Prosocial Motives and Online Cause-related Crowdfunding

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Is Crowdfunding Altruistic or Egoistic? The Influences of Social Cause and Message Types on Prosocial Motives and Online Cause-related Crowdfunding

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2018-07

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The objectives of this study were to test: (1) the effects of social cause type and message type on crowdfunding behavior, (2) the mediating effects of prosocial motives on relationship between social cause/message types and crowdfunding behavior, and (3) the interaction effects of social cause type and message type on prosocial motives and crowdfunding behavior. Based on Batson’s (1997) path model of altruistic and egoistic motives for helping, a comprehensive model for this study was developed to test the interrelationship among social cause and message types, prosocial motives, and crowdfunding behavior. This study designed a between-subjects 2 (social cause types: primary vs. secondary needs) 2 (message types: participative vs. promotional) factorial online experiment. It contains a cause-related crowdfunding campaign with two attributes: (1) social cause type whether it is a human primary need or a secondary need and (2) message type whether it is participative or promotional. Participants were randomly assigned to respond to one of four cause-related campaign conditions (i.e., health cause with participative message, health cause with promotional message, art cause with participative message, or art cause with promotional message). A total of 318 responses were used for data analysis. A multivariate analysis of variance indicated that there was a significant main effect of social cause types on the combined crowdfunding behavioral outcomes (i.e., attitude toward the cause-related campaign, willingness to participate and share information with others, crowdfunding intention). Individuals exposed to a primary cause had higher crowdfunding behavioral responses than those exposed to a secondary cause in the cause-related crowdfunding campaign. However, there was no main effect of message types (i.e., participative vs. promotional) on the crowdfunding behavior. There was a significant mediating effect of prosocial motives (i.e., perceived reward, personal distress, empathy). An analysis of variance also indicated that empathy mediates all behavioral outcomes while personal distress influences only attitude toward the cause-related campaign and perceived reward influences only crowdfunding intention and willingness to participate/share. The prosocial motives for crowdfunding play a mediating role in the relationship between social cause/message types and crowdfunding behavior. This suggests that individuals had both egoistic motives (i.e., perceived reward, personal distress) and altruistic motives (i.e., empathy) for cause-related crowdfunding. In addition, there were interaction effects of social cause type and message type on prosocial motives and crowdfunding intention. Theoretical and practical implications, and limitations and suggestions for future research were provided based on the findings.

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University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation.July 2018. Major: Design, Housing and Apparel. Advisor: Elizabeth Bye. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 137 pages.

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Kim, Yumin. (2018). Is Crowdfunding Altruistic or Egoistic? The Influences of Social Cause and Message Types on Prosocial Motives and Online Cause-related Crowdfunding. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/200319.

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