Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Griffin, Robert J.

Second Advisor

Wolburg, Joyce M.

Third Advisor

Chattopadhyay, Sumana


This research was conducted to learn if consumer attitudes and purchase intentions of cause marketing products could be recognized and better understood by applying Icek Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). Specifically, the researcher intended to learn more about consumer participation in cause marketing programs and to start a discussion about what consumers expect or hope to gain from their participation. This study applied purchase-triggered donation cause marketing to a post-test experimental design to investigate if purchase intentions are higher when a cause marketing appeal was present and to learn more about the application of TPB in cause marketing consumer behavior. Two random samples of 1000 students were invited to participate in this questionnaire-based, online study which yielded an average 24.6% response rate from the control group and experimental groups. Analyses of the data showed a favorable application of TPB using a path model and multiple regression and a positive application of anticipated affect, an extension of TPB that factors in expectations of emotions after performing a behavior. Multiple regression revealed that cognitive items influenced by the stimulus scenario were diminished when affect is considered and feelings of happiness, satisfaction, guiltlessness, and responsibility were brought to the forefront. The researcher concluded that cause marketing is an effective marketing tool that plays on the emotions of consumer altruism, and TPB with the extension of anticipated affect is an effective model to study the consumer beliefs and attitudes that contribute to the purchase of cause marketing products.

Included in

Communication Commons