Normative Social Influence Charity Study

Normative Social Influence: Charity Study


Florida International University













In this study, Researcher and students did not know any other participants to increase unbiasedness in the results of the analysis. Out of the 147 participants, were students from Florida International University 90.5%(n=133), while 9.5% (n=14) were not students from the University.51.7%(n=76) of them were males, and the rest 48.3% (n=71) were females. Participants were asked to report their races. Hispanic, 27.9% (n=41) Caucasian, 11.6% (n=17) African Americans, 4.8% (n=7) Asian Americans, 1.4% (n=2) Native Americans and 6.8%(n=10) who specified their race as “Others.” The sample consisted overall of 47.6% (n=70). The average of the participants’ ages was 22 years (SD = 8.72) with the youngest participant reporting age as 3 years and the oldest was 72 years with a mean of 24.585 years. Donations were described as High, Middle or Low with = 53, 43 and 51 respectively.

Materials and Procedure

The researcher didn’t know the participants of this study, and an introduction to the participant was necessary. The researcher’s information is, what the study is about, and the time it might take to complete the study is communicated to the participant to enable them to commit until the end of the study. The researcher asks the potential participant whether he or she is willing to participate on the study. The participants responses are answered orally with a “Yes” or “No” response which determines the next move of the researcher. Once the participant says No the researcher will need to move and find a willing participant. When the participant is willing to take the study, the researcher picks a questionnaire randomly from one of the three “Research Study – Florida International University–Summer, 2020” documents. Participants are asked to read the instructions of the questionnaire carefully, given that they will be asked to answer questions later concerning the same ones. After reading the information in the questionnaire, they were asked how much they could donate if participants received $100.

The questionnaire given contains instructions guiding the participant to look into a Facebook account of user named a “Michael Bezjian.” The account includes false information and advertisement pleading for donations to charity instead of buying Michael Bezjian gifts on his birthday. Every piece of the provided information is the same on the user’s page. Friends, adverts, and the nature of comments were identical except that the amount of money comments displayed differ. One participant, he/ she will read comments that Michael’s friends indicated they would donate either $5 to $10, $25 to $30 or $45 to $50 depending on the questionnaire selected randomly by the researcher. These are the amounts grouped as Low, Medium or High, ($5 to $10, $25 to $30 and $45 to $50), respectively. The aim here is to examine whether the participant’s contribution is determined by the contributions indicated in the comments of the Facebook user. We expected that those who get a questionnaire with low contributions would contribute less and those with high contribution comments will contribute more money for charity.

The participants were asked several questions thereafter to determine the difference in the impact of the three groups in contributions. The participants were asked: 1. How much would you donate? 2. How much do you think others would donate? 3. If you could donate time instead, how much time would you donate? Note that in all three questions, participants will provide a number ranging from 0 to 100 (in either dollars or hours).

Participants will be asked to rate their impressions Michael Bezjian on a scale of 1 to 6 where 1 represents (Strongly Disagree), and 6 represent (Strongly Agree). The participants also answered demographic questions; they were informed it could leave them blank. They were finally asked to indicate whether the dollar amounts that Michael’s friends noted in their comments were low ($5 to $10), middle ($25 to $30), or high ($45 to $50).

The study’s dependent variable is the number of participants willing to contribute some amount of money or time to the charity grouped as low, medium, or high. After reading the comments on Facebook, they were asked how much they could contribute grouping the amount into three categories low ($5 to $10), middle ($25 to $30), or high ($45 to $50).

The independent variables are the amount of time and money indicated by comments grouped as low, medium or high depending on whether the amount in the comment is between low ($5 to $10), middle ($25 to $30), or high ($45 to $50). Other variables were the ages of participants and races, are not used in the study. The primary focus is on comments, and the number of participants was willing to contribute.

The researcher thanked the participants and indicated the study’s aim as a determination if the amount of money donated by Facebook friends to a charity influences the amount of money that participants are willing to donate to the same cause hypothetically. Participants were explained the low dollar condition ($5 or $10), medium dollar condition ($25 or $30) and high dollar condition ($45 or $50). The researcher explained that participants in the high dollar condition willing to donate more money and time to a charity and think that other participants would similarly donate more money than participants in the low dollar condition, with middle dollar condition participants falling in the middle. We also predict that participants in the high dollar condition will rate other donors as being more warm, generous, and caring as well as less stingy and selfish than participants in the low dollar condition, with middle dollar condition participants falling in the middle.


A cross-tabs was carried out on the amount of money contributed with the condition, that is, high, medium and low condition. Using the conditions and the number of people who contributed different amount of money, there was statistical significant effect using chi-squre, (20) = 65.178, p < 0.001. Most people who did not contribute anything are in the low condition (53.8%). People who contributed are all in the high condition (100%) showed comments amounting to 35$. Most of the participants (75%) in the lower condition made donations of $15. In the middle condition made donations of 25$, Findings show all participants are willing to donate but changes in the condition they fall in. Refer to Appendix B.

Main Analysis of the first One-way ANOVA was conducted in order to test the significance differences of the relationship between the amounts (time) contributed and the three conditions. The result showed statistical significance with F (2, 144) = 11.82, = .000. Shows that according to donations amounts (Time) are likely to donate average: Tukey Post Hoc tests shows that there is a statistical significance between the conditions proving high dollars conditions are shown to put more than other donors. (M:28.68, SD= 14.55) the high condition has (M = 22.56, SD = 10.08), middle condition has (M = 16.57, SD = 13.62) and low condition has (M = 16.57, SD = 13.62) (Warner R., 2008) refer to Appendix C.

The amount of time participants was willing to donate depending on the condition, running a One-way ANOVA from the three conditions. The initial predictions using the independent variable (three conditions) and donations/times as dependent variable. The results reveal between condition and donation amount in time was significantly supported by statics, F (2,144) =5.44, =.005. The high dollar condition willing to donate more for charity (M=7.77, SD=5.05) assuming other participants would donate more amounts than low condition (M = 5.49, SD = 3.15), Refer to Appendix D and lastly the middle conditions having minimal values (M=7.90, SD = 3.66). The p-value proves ANOVA test was significant and the Tukey post hoc tests confirming results from conditions.



This study focuses mainly on the psychological concept of normative social influence (Deutsch M. & Gerard H., 1955). We examined willingness to contribute to a charity by showing contribution samples grouped as low, medium, and high, to participants selected to fill the questionnaires. Analysis reports the three conditions (Low, medium, and high). The amount of time and money participants are willing to contribute according to the researcher’s Facebook comments that belong to the three conditions provided to them. The analysis shows that the differences in the means for the amount of time and money participants are willing to contribute significantly different.

Participants in the “High category” reported a more considerable mean than the participants categorized in the low condition. The medium condition contributes on average compared to both high and low conditions implying that medium participants remain in the middle condition.

The study shows we reject the null hypothesis and conclude that the amount of money donated by Facebook friends to charity influences the amount of money that participants are willing to donate to the same cause hypothetically.
















Appendix A – Demographics


  Gender (1 = M, 2 = F) Age Race
N Valid 147 147 147
  Missing 0 0 0
Mean 1.4830 24.5850 2.3810
Median 1.0000 22.0000 2.0000
Mode 1.00 22.00 2.00
Std. Deviation .50142 8.72082 1.46340
Minimum 1.00 3.00 1.00
Maximum 2.00 72.00 6.00




Gender (1 = M, 2 = F)
  Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Male 76 51.7 51.7 51.7
  Female 71 48.3 48.3 100.0
  Total 147 100.0 100.0  





  Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Caucasian 41 27.9 27.9 27.9
  Hispanic 70 47.6 47.6 75.5
  Native Indian 2 1.4 1.4 76.9
  African American 17 11.6 11.6 88.4
  Asian American 7 4.8 4.8 93.2
  Other 10 6.8 6.8 100.0
  Total 147 100.0 100.0  
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