Digital badges provide citizens with a means to publicly signal their “good” deeds to those in their social networks and thus may act as incentive to engage with social and political causes. However, research suggests that the use of such virtual tokens of recognition may have the opposite affect among those primarily motivated by altruism. Two experiments examined the effects of digital badges on support for activist organizations and their causes. Results of Study 1 demonstrated that among participants high in altruism, being offered a digital badge as a token of recognition for support decreased perceived altruistic value of support, and in turn, willingness to nominate others to spread the word about the organization's cause. Study 2 demonstrated that receiving a digital badge as a token of recognition following compliance with a foot-in-the door request (intended to induce self-perceived altruism) decreased perceived value of support, and in turn, willingness to participate in future activities to promote the organization's cause. These findings strongly support a crowding out effect, suggesting that the use of digital badges may reduce support among those who care by undermining their intrinsic motivation.
|Journal||International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2019|