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Behavioral Psychology Behind Store Charity Appeals

October 9, 2013

1101710920_400.jpg(Time Cover, Sept. 20 1971)

B.F. Skinner was a founder of behavioral psychology which sees man as a soulless creature trainable like an animal. Its goal is behavior modification as in the field of Social Marketing.

Stevan writes that store charity appeals are part of "Social Marketing,"
which trains people to act on the basis of emotion and conformity.
Hence the "public shaming" if you don't donate.

by Stevan

Although people like to think of themselves as rational, research shows that people are far more susceptible to emotional responses than rational arguments.

"80% of the factors influencing behaviour did not stem from knowledge or awareness." Fliegenschnee and Shelakovsky, 1998.

"The starting assumption in behavioral psychology should be that consciousness doesn't play a role in human behavior."
Robert Povine, Psychologist

The purpose of Social Marketing is to modify behavior and create a conditioned response, a reaction without thinking.

Social Marketing is the primary tool of behavior modification for all institutions from governments to corporate advertisers. The aim is to to control behavior through positive or negative emotional reinforcements.  As Social Marketing works at distance (i.e non physical stimulus) it must work on universal emotional memes.

Examples of negative memes include, fear, guilt, shame,  social/gender conformity, social ostracism, disgust, anger, distrust and inadequacy (weakness). Positive memes are primarily social reinforcements and include, social proof, pride, patriotism and sexual desirability.

Practical examples include, climate change (fear), feminism (gender conformity), charities (guilt), discrimination (shame), terrorism (fear and patriotism), Facebook (social conformity), homophobia (inadequacy) etc.

Demographic research, market segmentation research and focus group studies are all designed to tailor Social Marketing campaigns to individual target populations.

Since the purpose of Social Marketing is to 'modify' behavior, negative reinforcements are far more effective as the message needs to create emotional discomfort in the target who then can alleviate the discomfort by changing their behavior.

People need to be aware of the extent of Social Marketing in order to protect themselves from this attack. 



Scruples - the game of moral dillemas

Comments for "Behavioral Psychology Behind Store Charity Appeals"

Debra said (October 11, 2013):

Its name alone; social engineering; explains it (mal intent) clear as a bell for those who would see. Yet it is even worse than that, as if
social engineering were not bad enough. Social engineering targets the human(s). However, there is a negative force that targets the soul
through our thought-life, affecting the true experience of reality and revelation. I believe that negative force is far worse. Social
engineering is kids stuff in comparison to how as individuals we might (negatively) affect each other one by one; one at a time.

How about simply informing the clerk about organized-charities and how administration pockets most of the money. Instead, give the clerk money for something they may need, rather than getting snippy with the clerk who is being coerced (likely) to solicit for funds.

Robert said (October 11, 2013):

One of the most obnoxious of these emotional pressure tactics is sending children out asking people to subscribe to fund-raising walks. It instills in the child the nonsensical association of organized walking with financing "good" causes and exploits the potential donor's distaste for disappointing the expectations of a well-intentioned child. A nasty scheme indeed.

anon said (October 11, 2013):

Stores get a canned answer with my cash. "If the store feels charitable it
may deduct 3% from my bill and divert it anywhere. If not, it may still discount
3% for swipe fees avoided by cash payment."

Stores pay robber-barons 3% on each CC sale. US states draw sales taxes on
that order. Cash is cheaper for stores to process. Swipe fees are the real
extra tax in our society.

Fees are price-fixed by the gov/bank cartel. Regs kill competition in money
moving. It should be fierce and flat-fee, since computer blips cost nothing
irrespective of amount. Merchant swipe fees are unadulterated graft. And Western
Union gouging, wow, don't get me started. That's our "free market" at work.
It's a government-protected cartel from the Fed all the way down to us.

Meanwhile regs don't affect Cocaine Import Agents, BCCI, Pentagon $trillions
missing, you name it. Thank you, progressives for all these one-way regs to
punish the poor. Please stop piling them high til you get secrecy in government

Imagine the wealth collected from every CC sale, every day, all year long,
worldwide. That's plenty for every charity on earth, indeed for ending poverty.

Dan said (October 11, 2013):

This article gives an epiphany of insight into how and why Europeans and native Americans are being programmed for 'situational ethics'.

It makes individuals easier to control .

Guilt vs shame based societies:

Rich said (October 10, 2013):

I always wondered. Does the corporation taking charitable donations at the checkout counter actually give credit to their shoppers for the big donation after they collect millions? Because this bs really ticks me off too. Charity begins at home, and when I give, that is where I mail the check from.

Thanks for bringing this up.

Duane said (October 10, 2013):

A motto I came across:

"Give them a banner to wave, a song to sing, a three word chant and you have them." That is the psychology of politics, mass demonstration and appeals to the mass psychology of belonging.

This is another element to belonging ...... to be seen to be virtuous in the eyes of others by donating to causes . Thus, this adds another old factor to the game... fear of condemnation, guilt for not participating and the desire assuage such feelings by the temporary donation to a charity or participating in a sponsored cause.

I liked another post I have recently seen which said .... I wont donate to cancer research but will be happy to donate to a fund to reward those who finally cure it. That way you fulfill your moral obligation to incentivise the various organizations to complete the goal rather than allowing them to continue to farm funds off people to support their over inflated administrations.

Don't fear the "not donating" and reverse the psychology by condemning these organizations for not being good enough to succeed. Demand that their directors be sacked, their scientists papers be properly assessed by independent labs and also demand that every penny be accounted for.

When the granny rattles her pot at you ... tell them that as well.

Tony B said (October 10, 2013):

This articles tells clearly essentially what I have been trying for years to get across to writers on how best to write articles to activate readers. Let the establishment media continue to use their "bible" on proper journalism etiquette as they don't want people to react AGAINST THEIR AGENDAS. But don't use it if you want to stop those agendas.

Do what they do in the opposite direction, that is APPEAL TO THE EMOTIONS in opposition to their emotional pull; where they instill fear, instill anger against their fear mongering, where they instill toleration of evil, instill hatred of evil, where they excuse government criminality as "mistakes," demand justice against the criminals, etc. This cannot be done by simply recording the facts. ONE MUST WRITE TO THE EMOTIONS OF THE READER. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.

Most people today under say 50 years have been dumbed down to the point where they don't give a damn about facts. They have been trained to react to buzz words and phrases. Give them your own. Make the emotional pull part of the article simple and strong, similar to political ads. Yours will be the more powerful if you oppose the establishment because TRUTH will be on your side.

Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at