Improving telephone fundraising by use of self-prophecy

Authors

  • Carl Obermiller,

    Corresponding author
    1. Albers School of Business, Seattle University, Seattle WA 98122-4340, USA
    • Albers School of Business, Seattle University, Seattle WA 98122-4340, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Carl Obermillerearned his PhD in Marketing at Ohio State University. Most of his research has been in consumer behaviour, much of it in information processing, with publications in various outlets, including the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Advertising, and Psychology and Marketing.

  • Eric Spangenberg

    1. Albers School of Business, Seattle University, Seattle WA 98122-4340, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Eric Spangenbergis an associate professor of marketing at Washington State University. His research interests are in consumer behaviour, including consumer scepticism towards advertising, self-prophecy, and environmental psychology. His publications have appeared in Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Psychology and Marketing, Marketing Letters, and Psychological Science.


Abstract

The self-prophecy phenomenon served as the basis for a simple, inexpensive technique aimed at increasing donations in a telephone fundraising drive. Self-prophecy is predicated on two psychological effects. First, asking people to make predictions about normatively influenced behaviours results in biased responses—people respond as they think they should. Secondly, when later asked to perform those same behaviours, people tend to be consistent with their predictions. In an experiment, asking people to make a prediction increased the success rate from 30.4 per cent to 49 per cent, relative to a control group. Although it may be limited to occasional use, the self-prophecy technique appears a simple and economical tool for increasing donations. Copyright © 2000 Henry Stewart Publications.

Ancillary