A Social Learning Approach to Increasing Blood Donations

Irwin G. Sarason, Barbara R. Sarason, Gregory R. Pierce, Edward N. Shearin, Merlin H. Sayers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A field experiment conducted in high schools throughout the country was aimed at increasing the number of high school students who donate blood. Special interventions that emphasized psychological or educational approaches to heightening motivation to donate, as well as a combined intervention, were compared with the usual approach taken at blood drives. Psychological interventions in which social learning principles (modeling, perceptions of social norms) played important roles either alone or in combination with an educational (informational) approach were more successful in stimulating blood donations than either an educational approach alone or the approaches traditionally followed by the participating local blood centers. The results demonstrated that use of social learning principles in designing interventions to strengthen socially relevant altruistic behavior could be valuable both practically and theoretically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)896-918
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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