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Defining and measuring blood donor altruism: a theoretical approach from biology, economics and psychology

Evans, R.; Ferguson, E.

Authors

R. Evans

E. Ferguson



Abstract

Background and Objectives
While blood donation is traditionally described as a behaviour motivated by pure altruism, the assessment of altruism in the blood donation literature has not been theoretically informed. Drawing on theories of altruism from psychology, economics and evolutionary biology, it is argued that a theoretically derived psychometric assessment of altruism is needed. Such a measure is developed in this study that can be used to help inform both our understanding of the altruistic motives of blood donors and recruitment intervention strategies.

Materials and Methods
A cross-sectional survey (N = 414), with a 1-month behavioural follow-up (time 2, N = 77), was designed to assess theoretically derived constructs from psychological, economic and evolutionary biological theories of altruism. Theory of planned behaviour (TPB) variables and co-operation were also assessed at time 1 and a measure of behavioural co-operation at time 2.

Results
Five theoretical dimensions (impure altruism, kinship, self-regarding motives, reluctant altruism and egalitarian warm glow) of altruism were identified through factor analyses. These five altruistic motives differentiated blood donors from non-donors (donors scored higher on impure altruism and reluctant altruism), showed incremental validity over TPB constructs to predict donor intention and predicted future co-operative behaviour.

Conclusions
These findings show that altruism in the context of blood donation is multifaceted and complex and, does not reflect pure altruism. This has implication for recruitment campaigns that focus solely on pure altruism.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 1, 2014
Journal Vox Sanguinis
Print ISSN 0042-9007
Electronic ISSN 0042-9007
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 106
Issue 2
APA6 Citation Evans, R., & Ferguson, E. (2014). Defining and measuring blood donor altruism: a theoretical approach from biology, economics and psychology. Vox Sanguinis, 106(2), doi:10.1111/vox.12080
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/vox.12080
Keywords altruism; blood donors; motivation; reciprocity; recruitment
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/vox.12080/abstract;jsessionid=C9D7371D9B318CD3931C1FB38756BED8.f01t02
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0





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