Behaviour Change

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

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Influence individuals to donate to a charity that is not well known.

Individuals give freely to charities that are known but less willing to give to less famous charities. For example, cancer research raise over £431million  and Oxfam £385.5million per annum.
Other less known charities, raise considerably less. We believe one reason for this is effectiveness of persuasion and influence.

Chosen Charity:
Children's University Foundation is and International critically acclaimed charity. They raise less that £1million per annum.

The volunteers work with underprivileged children (7-14years) to bridge the gap in education between students of different socioeconomic status. 

They promote social mobility by providing access to high quality out-of-school hours learning activities.  The ambition is to aspire, boost achievement and foster a love of learning.

The closest branch of the charity is in Warwickshire and a promotional video for the charity was also filmed  by students at the University of Warwick. The work done by Warwick students, was inspiring for the students affected by the Children's University Trust.

With the Government cutting funding to community activities, the charity's work is becoming even more important.

Proposed Action Plan:
·         Book fundraising buckets at SU Reception for 6 weeks.
·         Form a partnership with the SU and Warwick Volunteers to support the project
·         Email Warwick Volunteers and request to play promotional video at the Piazza
·         Create Petition form
·         Decide specific location to fundraise

Email sent to Warwick SU and Warwick Volunteers:

·         Amount of money raised using the different techniques
·         Number of donations per day

Techniques and Results:
DOOR-IN-THE-FACE: Follow a large refused request with a small one.


Several confederates made requests through door-to-door sales. In the DITF condition, they made a large/moderate request for homeowners to volunteer and fundraise for an unknown charity. When this request was rejected, confederates asked the subjects to give any amount for the charity (small request). Participants in the control condition received only the small request. 60%of the participants in the DITF condition complied compared to 31% in the control condition (Tusing and Dillard, 2000).

Our action
·         Ask university students to donate 2 hours of their time now to raise money for the charity (large)

·         Ask the students to donate £1 (small)

FOOT-IN-THE-DOOR: Make a small request to pay the way for compliance to a larger request.

In 1983, Schwarzwald, Bizman and Raz conducted an experiment asking people to sign a petition for the establishment of a social club for the handicapped. This was followed by a larger request to donate either an amount of money of their discretion or a predetermined amount (£40,50, or 60) requested by the canvasser. Results revealed that those who had a signed a petition were more likely to donate.

Our action:               
·         Ask university students to sign petitions for the university to allow charity videos to be played on the Piazza screen (small request)

·         Ask students to simultaneously donate to the charity (large)


MERE-EXPOSURE: Repeatedly expose subjects to the desired stimulus. This will induce familiarity and likely behaviour change.

Our action:

·         Play the charity promotional video on the piazza screen 
·         Familiarise university students to the charity and it’s work
·         Increase likelihood of donation when asked

In the experiment, there were four pairs experimenters, a talker and a listener. The talker had to talk to the listener infront of the subject. There were 3 conditions, in the first one, the experimenter had to conduct a pleasant conversation with the listener infront of the subject. In the second condition, the experimenter had to conduct an unpleasant conversation infront of the subject. In the controlled condition, no conversation took place. The talker had to then ask the subject for money (a quarter) by saying that he could not find his wallet. It was found that a small increase in familiarity with an unfamiliar supplicant (even if the conversation was unpleasant) increased positive action i.e. donation (Macaulay, 1975).



Mere Exposure

Number of Donations
Amount Collected


Macaulay, J. (1975). Familiarity, Attraction, and Charity. The Journal Of Social Psychology, 95(1), 27-37.

Schwarzwald, J., Bizman, A., & Raz, M. (1983). The foot-in-the-door paradigm effects of second request size on donation probability and donor generosity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin9(3), 443-450.

Tusing, K. J.& Dillard, J. P. (2000). "The psychological reality of the door-in-the-face: It's helping, not bargaining". Journal of Language and Social Psychology 19: 5–25.

Maria Shahzad, Abheer Bawany and Devika Jain

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