Social Influence and Blood Donation: Cultural Differences Between Scotland and Australia

Cultural Differences in Social Influence

Project dates: 2013 - 2014

People can be motivated to carryout behaviours which contribute to improvement of quality of life for reasons driven by cultural norms. There is a common perception that people within a cultural cluster, particularly one with a common language such as English, will exhibit similar consumer behaviours. However there is an emerging field of research investigating intra-cultural differences in marketing that challenges this perception. In particular, the role of peers and norms as drivers of altruistic behaviours that benefit society may differ between these countries.

Altruism is an important motivation for pro-social behaviours such as blood donation, water conservation and peer counselling for health problems. Understanding the social influences for these behaviours assists marketers to develop programs that meet the needs of donors and potential donors. An ongoing foundation of altruistic consumers is essential for delivering services that improve quality of life for people.

This project reports the findings of two online surveys with Scottish and Australian blood donors and demonstrates differences in the way social norms influence donation behaviour, and importantly different impacts of cultural factors in the two populations.


Guiding Theory:

  • Social Norms
  • Susceptibility to Social Influence

Other Team Members

  • Dr Kathleen Chell, QUT and Australian Red Cross Blood Service
  • Jennifer Goulden, Strathclyde University, UK



  • Russell-Bennett, Rebekah, Smith, Geoff, Chell, Kathleen, Goulden, Jennifer (2015) Social Influence and Blood Donation: Cultural Differences Between Scotland and Australia. In Wymer, W (Ed.), Innovations in social marketing and public health communication: Improving the quality of life for individuals and communities [Applying Quality of Life Research], pp.133-158.