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Exemplars and the Application of the Desert Heuristic When Responding to Fundraising Attempts
Unformatted Document Text:  14 the Asthma patients (Responsible: M = 3.76, SD = 1.81; Not responsible: M = 1.79, SD = 1.58). However, for both diseases, contrasts revealed significant differences between the responsible and the not-responsible versions. None of the other main effects or interactions was significant (p’s > .23). Next, the question was addressed as to whether the responsibility manipulation was capable of influencing the responsibility perception of Aids victims and asthma patients in general. As in the previous experiments, this proved to be the case. Participants who had read the responsible version generally held patients more responsible for the trouble they were in (M = 3.01, SD = 1.99) than those who had read the not-responsible version (M = 2.51, SD = 1.77; F (1, 280) = 8.01, p < .01, 2 = .03). There was also a main effect of the kind of disease. Aids victims were held more responsible for getting into trouble (M = 3.88, SD = 1.72) than asthma patients (M = 1.65, SD = 1.32; F (1, 280) = 154.95, p < .001, 2 = .36). None of the other main effects or interactions was significant (p’s > .13). As in the previous experiments, there were no significant main effects or interactions with respect to the attitude scores (p’s > .20). The main dependent variable was the intention of the participants to donate money in response to the fundraising letter. Given the nominal level of these data, logistic regression techniques were used. First, we tested whether participants were more inclined to apply the desert heuristic when confronted by an unknown organization’s fundraising attempt (top panel of Table 2). Inclusion of the responsibility manipulation x known organization interaction term in the model did not lead to a significant better prediction of the intention to donate. Second, we tested whether inclusion of the responsibility manipulation x severity of disease led to a better prediction of the intention data. This proved to be the case (Wald (1) = 3.65, p < .05, one-tailed tested). Table 2 The number of participants willing to donate money as a function of the responsibility manipulation and being familiar with the organization (top panel) and as a function of the severity of the disease (bottom panel) Responsible Not responsible Donation No donation Donation No donation Organization Well-known 17 54 16 53 Unknown 22 50 25 45 Severity disease High 28 43 22 47 Low 11 61 19 51 The interaction confirmed the prediction that participants would only apply the desert heuristic for the less severe disease (asthma), but not for the severe disease (Aids). Whether the participants knew the organization, did not influence the application of the desert heuristic. This pattern of results was not replicated when analyzing the amount of money participants was willing to donate. Apart from the main effect of the severity of the disease, people intended to give more money for Aids victims (M = 3.99, SD = 10.78) than for asthma patients (M = 1.35, SD = 3.93; F (1, 280) = 7.56, p < .01, 2 = .03). There were no other significant main effects or interactions (p’s > .17). 1

Authors: Hoeken, Hans. and Hustinx, Lettica.
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the Asthma patients (Responsible: M = 3.76, SD = 1.81; Not responsible: M = 1.79, SD =
1.58). However, for both diseases, contrasts revealed significant differences between the
responsible and the not-responsible versions. None of the other main effects or interactions
was significant (p’s > .23).
Next, the question was addressed as to whether the responsibility manipulation was
capable of influencing the responsibility perception of Aids victims and asthma patients in
general. As in the previous experiments, this proved to be the case. Participants who had
read the responsible version generally held patients more responsible for the trouble they
were in (M = 3.01, SD = 1.99) than those who had read the not-responsible version (M =
2.51, SD = 1.77; F (1, 280) = 8.01, p < .01,
2
= .03). There was also a main effect of the kind
of disease. Aids victims were held more responsible for getting into trouble (M = 3.88, SD =
1.72) than asthma patients (M = 1.65, SD = 1.32; F (1, 280) = 154.95, p < .001,
2
= .36).
None of the other main effects or interactions was significant (p’s > .13).
As in the previous experiments, there were no significant main effects or interactions
with respect to the attitude scores (p’s > .20). The main dependent variable was the intention
of the participants to donate money in response to the fundraising letter. Given the nominal
level of these data, logistic regression techniques were used. First, we tested whether
participants were more inclined to apply the desert heuristic when confronted by an unknown
organization’s fundraising attempt (top panel of Table 2). Inclusion of the responsibility
manipulation x known organization interaction term in the model did not lead to a significant
better prediction of the intention to donate. Second, we tested whether inclusion of the
responsibility manipulation x severity of disease led to a better prediction of the intention
data. This proved to be the case (Wald (1) = 3.65, p < .05, one-tailed tested).
Table 2
The number of participants willing to donate money as a function of the responsibility
manipulation and being familiar with the organization (top panel) and as a function of the
severity of the disease (bottom panel)
Responsible
Not
responsible
Donation No
donation
Donation No
donation
Organization
Well-known 17
54
16
53
Unknown
22
50
25
45
Severity disease
High
28
43
22
47
Low
11
61
19
51
The interaction confirmed the prediction that participants would only apply the desert
heuristic for the less severe disease (asthma), but not for the severe disease (Aids). Whether
the participants knew the organization, did not influence the application of the desert
heuristic. This pattern of results was not replicated when analyzing the amount of money
participants was willing to donate. Apart from the main effect of the severity of the disease,
people intended to give more money for Aids victims (M = 3.99, SD = 10.78) than for asthma
patients (M = 1.35, SD = 3.93; F (1, 280) = 7.56, p < .01,
2
= .03). There were no other
significant main effects or interactions (p’s > .17).
1


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