Rage Donations: Anger Driven Collective Action Promoting Social Change 

Mirnajafi, Z. (University of Queensland), Chapman, C. M. (University of Queensland) 

After Donald Trump announced a ban on immigration from Muslim majority countries, Americans donated over $24 million to the American Civil Liberties Union. This phenomenon of ‘rage donations’ is seemingly sparked by public figures’ statements and the proposal of policies that provoke anger. We sought to empirically establish rage donations across two experimental studies in the context of racial discrimination (N = 219) and a ban on abortion (N = 221) in the United States. In these studies, we examined known mechanisms from the collective action literature (anger, identification, and efficacy) to explain rage donations. We found that exposure to tweets advocating positions that opposed the participants’ own views, led participants to experience anger. This anger then motivated willingness to give to charitable causes associated with participants’ own stance on social issues, but not their actual giving behaviour. Changing patterns of identification, in contrast, were associated with behaviour and mediated indirect effects.  Interestingly, anger has not been previously identified as a motivator of prosocial behavior such as charitable giving.  We argue that rage donations are a form of ally collective action in the form of charitable giving. Implications for allyship, collective action, and social change will be discussed. 


Twitter @zahra.mirnajafi 

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Social Change Symposium