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Exemplars and the Application of the Desert Heuristic When Responding to Fundraising Attempts
Unformatted Document Text:  1 Exemplars and the application of the desert heuristic when responding to fundraising attempts Abstract Proponents of dual-process models claim that heuristics play an important role in the persuasion process. In this paper, four experiments are reported on a heuristic applicable in fundraising contexts: the so-called desert heuristic. This heuristic implies that people do not support a person who is held responsible for the trouble he or she is in. Fundraising organizations do not raise funds for an individual person but for a group of patients. In that case, the stereotypical (responsibility) perception of those patients is at stake. In four experiments, it is shown that the use of exemplars in fundraising letters can influence the stereotypical responsibility perception of the category and that this perception can influence the intention to donate money especially when the type of problem is less serious. Cultural differences do not appear to play a decisive role.

Authors: Hoeken, Hans. and Hustinx, Lettica.
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1
Exemplars and the application of the desert heuristic
when responding to fundraising attempts
Abstract

Proponents of dual-process models claim that heuristics play an important role in the
persuasion process. In this paper, four experiments are reported on a heuristic applicable in
fundraising contexts: the so-called desert heuristic. This heuristic implies that people do not
support a person who is held responsible for the trouble he or she is in. Fundraising
organizations do not raise funds for an individual person but for a group of patients. In that
case, the stereotypical (responsibility) perception of those patients is at stake. In four
experiments, it is shown that the use of exemplars in fundraising letters can influence the
stereotypical responsibility perception of the category and that this perception can influence
the intention to donate money especially when the type of problem is less serious. Cultural
differences do not appear to play a decisive role.


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