Too Hot to Handle: Examining Hot and Cold Emotional States on the Predictors of Blood Donor Intentions and Behaviour

Rebekah Clowes (2010). Too Hot to Handle: Examining Hot and Cold Emotional States on the Predictors of Blood Donor Intentions and Behaviour Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Rebekah Clowes
Thesis Title Too Hot to Handle: Examining Hot and Cold Emotional States on the Predictors of Blood Donor Intentions and Behaviour
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Masser, Barbara M.
Total pages 125
Abstract/Summary Within the context of blood donor recruitment, the predictive utility of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) remains limited. Specifically, the role of affect and the intention-behaviour gap are poorly understood. These limitations are exacerbated by an over-reliance on survey research methods. Research examining the role of affect in decision making suggests that discrepancies between behavioural predictions and actual behaviour are the result of „empathy gaps‟. Empathy gaps occur because individuals systematically underestimate the influence of affect. As such, the key aims of the current research are to a) improve our understanding of factors that motivate blood donors; b) determine if the intention-behaviour gap is a manifestation of the empathy gap, c) investigate the influence of heightened affect on the TPB constructs; and d) establish whether or not the inclusion of affective components in the TPB can improve the models predictive ability. Two studies were conducted to assess these aims. First, 173 non-donors completed a free response questionnaire assessing the reasons why they do not donate blood. Results revealed that participants were particularly concerned with the use of needles and the affective experience of blood donation. Self-efficacy and perceived behavioural control also emerged as key themes. Next, 82 participants completed measures of anxiety, anticipated affect and standard TPB constructs while in either a “hot” or “cold” affective state. The results revealed that participants in the hot state had more negative attitudes and anticipated more negative reactions towards blood donation, perceived less social pressure to donate blood, and experienced greater anxiety than those in the cold state. Further, the inclusion of affective constructs improved the TPBs predictive ability. There was, however, no evidence to suggest that the intention behaviour gap is a manifestation of the empathy gap. It is anticipated that these findings will assist blood collection agencies in the recruitment of new donors. The strengths and limitations of the studies are discussed and recommendations for future research are outlined.

 
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Created: Mon, 04 Apr 2011, 15:26:37 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology