This study examined how nonprofits can use video narratives to elicit young individuals' emotions and persuade them to support a cause; in particular this study analyzed variables of elicited moral anger, sense of self-efficacy, empathic connection, and prosocial persuasion. Undergraduate participants (n = 160) viewed a two-minute PSA depicting scenes of domestic violence escalation in a young married couple's apartment. Participants completed scale responses that demonstrated a positive correlation between message-induced state empathy and moral anger as well as a positive relationship between state empathy and activist tendencies. As in other studies framed by the anger activism model (AAM), high levels of anger and perceived self-efficacy predicted greater willingness to engage in prosocial support of a nonprofit cause, but only on two of three measures. The practical importance of understanding moral anger and how its induction applies to seeking help for distressed populations can apply in many messaging constructs, particularly when an organization seeks to remedy an injustice. Traditionally nonprofit organizations have used anger appeals to alert inactive publics to threats to universal moral ideals, but this practice also can also be effective in socially conscious companies' persuasion efforts.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Willder, Erin Lurae, "The Roles of Moral Anger, Empathy, and Self-Efficacy in Persuading Prosocial Activism" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 9069.
moral anger, self-efficacy, empathy, prosocial, persuasion