The effect of political ideology and message frame on donation intent during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published on Mar 1, 2021in Journal of Business Research
· DOI :10.1016/J.JBUSRES.2020.12.040
Patrick van Esch11
Estimated H-index: 11
(AUT: Auckland University of Technology),
Yuanyuan (Gina) Cui4
Estimated H-index: 4
(AUT: Auckland University of Technology),
Shailendra Pratap Jain14
Estimated H-index: 14
(UW: University of Washington)
Abstract We investigate COVID-19 related consumers’ donation intent predicated on their political ideology and the message frame - one emphasising the statistical number of affected victims, and the other focusing on a specifically identified victim. Across three studies, we find that the impact of the message frame depends on consumers’ political ideology. Politically conservative consumers respond to the identifiable victim (vs. statistical victims) frame more favorably while politically liberal consumers are indifferent across the two frames (Studies 1 and 2). We further find that this conditional positive effect of identifiable victim frame for conservative consumers is mediated by consumers’ state anxiety evoked by the message frame (Study 3). This paper concludes with contributions to theory, implications for practice, and directions for future inquiries.
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