Charitable crowdfunding donation-intention estimation depending on emotional project images using fNIRS-based functional connectivity

Su Jin Bak, Minsun Yeu, Dongwon Min, Jaehoon Lee, Jichai Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Charitable fundraising increasingly relies on online crowdfunding platforms. Project images of charitable crowdfunding use emotional appeals to promote helping behavior. Negative emotions are commonly used to motivate helping behavior because the image of a happy child may not motivate donors to donate as willingly. However, some research has found that happy images can be more beneficial. These contradictory results suggest that the emotional valence of project imagery and how fundraisers frame project images effectively remain debatable. Thus, we compared and analyzed brain activation differences in the prefrontal cortex governing human emotions depending on donation decisions using functional near-infrared spectroscopy, a neuroimaging device. We advance existing theory on charitable behavior by demonstrating that little correlation exists in donation intentions and brain activity between negative and positive project images, which is consistent with survey results on donation intentions by victim image. We also discovered quantitative brain hemodynamic signal variations between donors and nondonors, which can predict and detect donor mental brain functioning using functional connectivity, that is, the statistical dependence between the time series of electrophysiological activity and oxygenated hemodynamic levels in the prefrontal cortex. These findings are critical in developing future marketing strategies for online charitable crowdfunding platforms, especially project images.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0303144
JournalPloS one
Volume19
Issue number5 May
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024 May

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2024 Bak et al.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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