Citation O'Carroll RE, Haddow L, Foley L & Quigley J (2017) If you needed an organ transplant would you have one? The effect of reciprocity priming and mode of delivery on organ donor registration intentions and behaviour. British Journal of Health Psychology, 22 (3), pp. 577-588. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12248
Abstract Objective: There are approximately 6,500 people on the UK national transplant waiting list, around 400 of whom die every year. Only 35% of the UK population are currently on the organ donation register. We report 2 studies examining whether a reciprocity prime, in which participants were asked whether they would accept a donated organ, increased organ donation intentions and behaviour.
Design: Between participants, randomized-controlled design.
Methods: In 2 studies, participants who were not currently registered organ donors took part either face-to-face or online, and were randomly allocated to a reciprocity prime or control condition. Following the manipulation they were asked to indicate, on either a paper or online questionnaire, their intention to join the organ donor register. Study 2 was similar to Study 1 but with the addition that after reporting intention, participants were then offered an organ donation information leaflet or the opportunity to click a link for further information (proxy behavioural measure).
Results: In both studies, reciprocity primed participants reported greater intentions to register than controls. However, in Study 2, no effect on donation behaviour was found.
Conclusions: Reciprocal altruism may be a useful tool in increasing intentions to join the organ donor register. Further evaluation is required to determine whether this increase in intention can be translated into organ donation behaviour.
Keywords organ donation; reciprocity; donor; altruism; reciprocity
Journal British Journal of Health Psychology: Volume 22, Issue 3