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Exemplars and the Application of the Desert Heuristic When Responding to Fundraising Attempts
Unformatted Document Text:  17 moet op de blaren zitten”. These proverbs were numbers 7 and 10 on the list. The other proverbs were not related to the desert heuristic. Participants Given the cross-cultural nature of this experiment, we deemed it necessary for the Dutch and Flemish participants to be as similar as possible (with the exception of their nationalities). Therefore, 112 participants were recruited from a Dutch and 109 from a Flemish college of higher education. Although, overall, the number of female and male participants was approximately equal (55.7% - 44.3%), female and male participants were distributed unequally in the Dutch and Flemish subsets. In the Dutch subset, the male participants outnumbered the female participants (72.7% - 27.3%). In the Flemish subset, it was the other way around (15.6% - 84.4%). The Flemish participants were somewhat older (M = 20.65, SD = 0.89) than the Dutch participants (M = 18.96, SD = 1.64), a difference that proved to be significant (t (172.51) = 9.52, p < .001). Questionnaire There were four versions of the experimental booklet as a result of the crossing of two factors: responsibility of the exemplar in the fundraising letter and the position of the proverbs (before or after the fundraising letter). A brief questionnaire was printed on the reverse side of the fundraising letter. The questionnaire contained the same items as the one in the second experiment. Again, the attitude and text evaluation measurements proved to be reliable for the Dutch as well as the Flemish samples (Dutch: attitude Cronbach’s α = .77; text evaluation Cronbach’s α = .70; Flemish: attitude Cronbach’s α = .79; text evaluation Cronbach’s α = .75). For each of the proverbs, two questions were asked. First, participants could indicate whether they knew the meaning of the proverb (yes, no). Second, participants could indicate on a seven-point scale whether they agreed with the meaning of the proverb (1 = completely disagree, 7 = completely agree). Procedure The experiment was conducted during a lecture. The lecturer told the participants that they would take part in two separate experiments, one on the meaning and acceptability of proverbs and one on the evaluation of a fundraising letter. The procedure was the same as in the previous experiments. Results First, we assessed whether the participants were familiar with the proverbs that expressed the desert heuristic. Everyone (the Flemish and Dutch participants) were familiar with the first proverb (“Eigen schuld, dikke bult”).The second proverb (“Wie zijn billen brandt, moet op de blaren zitten”) was familiar to 98.2% of the Flemish participants and to 92.9% of the Dutch participants.

Authors: Hoeken, Hans. and Hustinx, Lettica.
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17
moet op de blaren zitten”. These proverbs were numbers 7 and 10 on the list. The other
proverbs were not related to the desert heuristic.
Participants

Given the cross-cultural nature of this experiment, we deemed it necessary for the Dutch and
Flemish participants to be as similar as possible (with the exception of their nationalities).
Therefore, 112 participants were recruited from a Dutch and 109 from a Flemish college of
higher education. Although, overall, the number of female and male participants was
approximately equal (55.7% - 44.3%), female and male participants were distributed
unequally in the Dutch and Flemish subsets. In the Dutch subset, the male participants
outnumbered the female participants (72.7% - 27.3%). In the Flemish subset, it was the other
way around (15.6% - 84.4%). The Flemish participants were somewhat older (M = 20.65, SD
= 0.89) than the Dutch participants (M = 18.96, SD = 1.64), a difference that proved to be
significant (t (172.51) = 9.52, p < .001).
Questionnaire

There were four versions of the experimental booklet as a result of the crossing of two
factors: responsibility of the exemplar in the fundraising letter and the position of the proverbs
(before or after the fundraising letter).
A brief questionnaire was printed on the reverse side of the fundraising letter. The
questionnaire contained the same items as the one in the second experiment. Again, the
attitude and text evaluation measurements proved to be reliable for the Dutch as well as the
Flemish samples (Dutch: attitude Cronbach’s
α
= .77; text evaluation Cronbach’s
α
= .70;
Flemish: attitude Cronbach’s
α
= .79; text evaluation Cronbach’s
α
= .75).
For each of the proverbs, two questions were asked. First, participants could indicate
whether they knew the meaning of the proverb (yes, no). Second, participants could indicate
on a seven-point scale whether they agreed with the meaning of the proverb (1 = completely
disagree, 7 = completely agree).
Procedure

The experiment was conducted during a lecture. The lecturer told the participants that they
would take part in two separate experiments, one on the meaning and acceptability of
proverbs and one on the evaluation of a fundraising letter. The procedure was the same as in
the previous experiments.
Results

First, we assessed whether the participants were familiar with the proverbs that expressed
the desert heuristic. Everyone (the Flemish and Dutch participants) were familiar with the first
proverb (“Eigen schuld, dikke bult”).The second proverb (“Wie zijn billen brandt, moet op de
blaren zitten”) was familiar to 98.2% of the Flemish participants and to 92.9% of the Dutch
participants.


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