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The effects of affective responses to photographs on behavioral intentions on charity websites : Facial expression and color scheme in images

Dinkelbach, H. (2017) The effects of affective responses to photographs on behavioral intentions on charity websites : Facial expression and color scheme in images.

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Abstract:Charity organizations often display photographs of children on their websites along with an appeal to donate. This research focused on the emotional appeals by facial expressions and color schemes and their influence on behavioral intention to increase the willingness of visitors to make online donations. An online questionnaire tested four image conditions (happy vs. sad facial expression in colored vs. grayscale) in a mock-up website of a fictitious charitable organization (n=169). The results showed that the facial expression in photographs led to more positive behavioral intentions of the participants, to stronger affect and to a higher processing fluency than the sad facial condition. The effects were mediated by the affective response happy mood and by processing fluency. Color scheme showed no main effects. On the basis of this study, it could be recommended to use a child with a happy facial expression on the website of a charity website for children in need to influence behavior. The outcomes were discussed in relation to a fictitious case. The study contributed by challenging existing scientific research on emotional appeals by facial expression and enlarging the discussion of the congruency and processing of various design stimuli especially for the careful consideration of photographs.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies, 70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/74376
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