Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Give a spit. Save a life.

Seventy per cent of people who need a bone marrow donation can’t find a match within their family, and so rely on matching with an unrelated donor. Unfortunately, the current likelihood of finding such a match is very slim. Therefore, we focused on helping Anthony Nolan to increase sign-ups to their bone marrow donor register. This would increase the chances of a person in need finding a potentially life-saving match.

We created four posters to advertise a registration event, which were put up around campus in the week prior. Each poster emphasised a different aspect of bone marrow donation. Two posters stressed the ever-increasing need for donors and the number of people already trying to address this, whilst another poster put the potential donor in the shoes of someone in need. A final poster attempted to tackle the widespread misconception that the process of bone marrow donation is incredibly painful.


In addition to our poster campaign, we created a Facebook event two weeks in advance of the registration day. On the page, we provided additional information regarding what signing up to the register would entail, and advertised a prize draw to win a £10 Amazon voucher. Anyone who registered on the day would be entered into this draw.


At the event, anyone who signed up to the register received a lanyard. This thanked them for “doing an awesome thing,” and encouraged them to share a photo of themselves on social media saying that they had registered. See below for an example.

To measure behaviour change, we compared the number of people who signed up to the register at two equivalent events. These events took place a term apart, and only the latter was promoted by our campaign. At the first event, only 14 people signed up, whilst 51 registrations were achieved at the second. This displays a clear positive effect of our campaign on potential bone marrow donors.

Jessica Mason
Chloe Marsh

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