Doctoral thesis

Micro-cultural differences in Switzerland : The effectiveness of targeted promotional messages in the field of organ donation


359 p.

Thèse de doctorat: Università della Svizzera italiana, 2011 (jury note: Magna cum laude)

English Public information campaigns have played an important role in increasing awareness of organ donation and the need for more organ donors. In a recent study, it was found that awareness and knowledge, regarding organ donation, represented only two of several factors in people’s decisions to engage in organ donation-related behaviors (Schulz et al., 2006). In addition, it was noted that the three main language groups in Switzerland differ substantially with respect to the influential factors in their organ donation decisions. A plethora of studies have examined cultural differences in health-related behavior. Existing studies tend to examine wide cultural differences or racial subcultures in the United States. This study aims at examining the role of cultural micro- variation, building on the previous study of organ donation in Switzerland. More specifically, the proposed research seeks to test the implications of these cultural differences as they relate to the design of targeted promotional campaigns for pro-social behavior. The study also applies communication theory concepts in the design of effective, targeted communication strategies to promote organ donation as an important example of health-related pro-social behavior. The study will test the effectiveness of differentiated communication messages within a small, very diverse country.
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