Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Environmental and Public Affairs
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Number of Pages
A random assignment experiment examined the effects of three expressions of gratitude on two prosocial behaviors: volunteering and making monetary donations to charitable organizations. The results indicated that two of the expressions of gratitude had a significant opposite effect on the two prosocial behaviors. Both a verbal thank-you speech and a hand written thank-you note, resulted in a significant reduction in the amount of pledged volunteer hours, while resulting in a significant increase in the amount of pledged charitable dollars. The third expression of gratitude, a ten dollar thank-you gift card, produced no significant findings for either prosocial behavior. The results of the experiment indicate that while volunteering and donating to charity are both prosocial behaviors, they each represent a different exchange relationship; volunteering, a social exchange and donating to charity, a market exchange. Each exchange is governed by a different set of norms and expectations. Violating these norms and expectations result in negative impacts on the prosocial behavior outcomes.
Donating; Experiment; Gratitude; Nonprofit Managment; Prosocial Behavior; Volunteering
Public Administration | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration
Hortt, Matthew L., "Thank You For Your Time! Would You Mind Donating to Our Cause? The Effect of Gratitude on Prosocial Behavior" (2015). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 2538.