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Making and unmaking cosmopolitans: An experimental test of the mediating role of emotions in international development appeals

Hudson, D; Hudson, JA; Gaines, S; Dasandi, N; (2019) Making and unmaking cosmopolitans: An experimental test of the mediating role of emotions in international development appeals. Social Science Quarterly , 100 (3) pp. 544-564. 10.1111/ssqu.12587. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: In this article, we test whether emotions mediate the effect of international development appeals on cosmopolitanism and donation behavior. Methods: We design and conduct a lab experiment to test the impact of representations of global poverty on participants’ cosmopolitan sentiments and their likelihood to donate to development charities. We use multiple mediation analysis to test the intervening role of six emotional responses—anger, guilt, solidarity, hope, repulsion, and pity—as causal pathways to our two outcomes of interest: cosmopolitanism and donations. Results Hope is the most consistent and powerful pathway through which appeals affect respondents’ sense of cosmopolitanism and willingness to donate. Negative imagery and text erode people's sense of hope, but drive donations, particularly via guilt. Conclusions: Our findings suggest we should move away from a mono‐causal view of emotional responses to disaster and development imagery, and provide a cautionary tale for practitioners: using negative imagery can undermine the public's sense of hope and cosmopolitanism.

Type: Article
Title: Making and unmaking cosmopolitans: An experimental test of the mediating role of emotions in international development appeals
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12587
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.12587
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2019 The Authors Social Science Quarterly published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Southwestern Social Science Association This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058965
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