Persuasive attempts are abundant in today’s society and the factors that influence the impact of these attempts are numerous. One of these factors is whether individuals are feeling confident or doubtful in themselves. This, and social persuasion, have been found to influence how susceptible an individual is to persuasion. This study looked at whether feeling confident or doubtful in oneself impacts the effect of social pressure to donate to charity. One hundred and one undergraduate college students were primed to feel confident, doubtful, or given no prime. They then took a measure of cognitive elaboration before being told that they could take part in a drawing for $20. If they chose to participate, they were asked if they wanted to donate any amount of the prize to a charity if they won. They were given no social pressure or told that either a large or small amount of participants had chosen to donate so far. It was hypothesized that the prime (H1) and the amount of social pressure (H2) participants were given would influence whether or not participants chose to donate. Neither of these hypotheses was supported. Further, it was hypothesized that the confidence versus doubt prime would influence the impact of social persuasion resulting in different donation amounts across conditions (H3). While neither confidence nor amount of social pressure were found to impact a participant’s choice to donate, it was found that the two factors interact to influence the amount of money participants committed to donating.


Hartin, Travis



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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