The Influence of Prosocial Norms and Online Network Structure on Prosocial Behavior

The Influence of Prosocial Norms and Online Network Structure on Prosocial Behavior: An Analysis of Movember’s Twitter Campaign in 24 Countries

by Tijs van den Broek, Ariana Need, Michel Ehrenhard, Anna Priante and Djoerd Hiemstra

Sociological research points at norms and social networks as antecedents of prosocial behavior. To date, the literature remains undecided on how these factors jointly influence prosocial behavior. Furthermore, the use of social media by campaign organizations may change the need for formal networks to organize large-scale collective action. Hence, in this paper we examine the interplay of prosocial norms and the structure of online social networks on offline prosocial behavior. For this purpose we use donation data from the global Movember campaign, messages about the Movember campaign on the online social networking site Twitter, and data from the World Giving Index. A multi-level analysis of Movember’s campaigns in 24 countries finds support for the logic of connective action: larger and more decentralized networks raise more donations. Furthermore, we find that the effect of prosocial norms on donations is decreased by larger and denser campaign networks.

To be presented at Social media, Activism, and Organizations 2015 (SMAO) on 6 November in Londen, UK.

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