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EMAC 2022 Annual

Sharing Data for Social Good: The Role of Construal Level and Communication Framing

Published: May 24, 2022


Claudia Wenzel, University of Zurich; Anne Scherer, University of Zurich


Convincing people to share data for a social good is neither easy nor straight forward. Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, many countries introduced contact tracing applications to limit the spread of the virus. Although those services work in a very privacy preserving manner, adoption rates remain low as people are reluctant to share their personal information. In comparison, services for a personal benefit that collect personal data continue to have a high user base. Drawing on construal level theory, we argue that different communication strategies with a focus on how versus why influence information processing and adoption behavior for social versus personal services. Across two studies, we show (1) how a different framing focus elicits a processing of abstract versus concrete product information, (2) that this moderates the adoption of services for a personal versus social benefit and (3) what drives higher adoption rates in why framings for social causes.