I Don’t Want the Money, I Just Want Your Time: How Moral Identity Overcomes the Aversion to Giving Time to Pro-social Causes

Source: Americus Reed II, Adam Kay, Stephanie Finnel, Karl Aquino, Eric Levy, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Forthcoming

Four studies show that moral identity reduces people’s aversion to giving time—particularly as the psychological costs of giving time increase. In study 1, we demonstrate that even when the cost of time and money are held equivalent, a moral cue enhances the expected self-expressivity of giving time— especially when it is given to a moral cause. We found that a moral cue reduces time aversion even when giving time was perceived to be unpleasant (study 2), or when the time to be given was otherwise seen to be scarce (study 3). Study 4 builds on these studies by examining actual giving while accounting for the real costs of time. In this study we found that the chronic salience of moral identity serves as a buffer to time aversion, specifically as giving time becomes increasingly costly. These findings are discussed in terms of the time vs. money literature and the identity literature. We also discuss policy implications for prosocial cause initiatives.
Related:
Time Is Precious — Here’s How to Convince People to Donate It
Source: Wharton School – University of Pennsylvania, Knowledge@Wharton, Marketing, June 8, 2015

Most charitable organizations survive through the help of donations. But what motivates a person to write a check versus signing up for some volunteer hours? And how can an organization convince donors to give time instead of money?