Creating Advertisements to Increase Altruistic Behaviour

PSYC1010 – Introduction to Psychology – Assignment #2

Creating Advertisements to Increase Altruistic Behaviour

Due: February 28 (SEC A) and March 2 (SEC F) 2022 at 11:59pm

(Out of 40 points, Worth 22%)

Your first assignment asked you to develop a behaviour modification plan to change a behaviour of your own. With assignment 2, I’m asking you to think about how to increase prosocial or altruistic behaviour in other people. These are fancy ways of saying acts of kindness or generosity directed toward others that do not appear to be directly related to an external reward. Your textbook doesn’t cover altruism/prosocial behaviour and I think it is essential, so for this assignment you will use information from websites that I provide in these instructions to define the key terms, and to offer a general introduction to the altruistic behaviour you choose. You will use information from these sources and your creativity, to design advertisements to increase the altruistic behaviour you choose. Please read the following instructions carefully and ask questions of your assigned TA early in the process of preparing this assignment to avoid confusion and significant loss of marks.

You have 2 choices for the altruistic/prosocial behaviour your assignment will focus on:

Option 1: Blood donation 

Rationale: Canada has one of the lowest rates of blood donation in the developed world, with only a tiny percentage of eligible blood donors regularly donating blood. That number is even lower in big cities like Toronto. This means that Canada Blood Services frequently experiences extreme shortages of blood supply that put all of us at risk, should we require surgery or blood transfusions for any reason. I want you to read about this issue and following the instructions below, design two advertisements to increase the rate of blood donation in the Canadian population.


Option 2: Donations to food banks

Rationale: Food insecurity has always been an issue, but the pandemic and related inflation has created the perfect storm for people struggling to put food on the table. Food is increasingly expensive, while wages haven’t increased accordingly, and many people are struggling to find or keep their jobs. Food banks have seen a massive increase in demand, which has not been met by a corresponding increase in donations. I want you to read about this issue and following the instructions below, design two advertisements to increase donations to food banks in Canada. 

Once you have chosen one of these 2 options to focus on, you must come up with 2 advertisements that would increase societal awareness of the issue and perhaps target those best positioned to help. For each of your 2 advertisements, you must describe the type of advertisement you would create and how it would be distributed (e.g., TV ads, Infographics, flyers distributed via regular mail, door-to-door canvassing with flyers, social media ads or hashtags, Tiktok videos, etc.). You must include details on the specific content or messaging of the advertisements. You don’t actually have to make these advertisements, but you do need to be specific in terms of what they would say, who would be featured in them, if your ads include people, and how you would get them out to the general public. This is your chance to be creative, but be clear in your ideas. 

Each of your advertisements must be directly and explicitly guided by one of the following influences on prosocial/altruistic behaviour and each advertisement must be guided by a different influence. For example, this means that if one of your advertisements is guided by kinship, then the other advertisement must be guided by reciprocity or social responsibility norm. 

1. Kinship

2. Reciprocity norm

3. Social responsibility norm

Each principle is discussed on this website, which you are required to cite in your assignment.

Sources related to blood donation. You must use at least 1 of these sources in your introduction.

Sources related to food bank donation. You must use at least 1 of these sources in your introduction.

Be sure to clearly describe how each advertisement is guided by one of these principles. I cannot emphasize this enough. In previous years, students have created brilliant, creative ads but failed to explicitly and clearly link them to kinship, reciprocity or social responsibility norms, which has resulted in poor grades. You need to be absolutely clear on how the content/design of your advertisement uses or plays upon kinship, social responsibility norm, or reciprocity norm and thus how it will increase blood donation OR donations to food banks. 

Grading Rubric (out of 40 points)

Introduction (approximately 1 paragraph in length) – 8 points.

  • Start your assignment with an introduction to the altruistic behaviour you chose (e.g., blood donations or food bank donations) – 5 pts for introduction. This must be followed by a summary of the advertisement plan to be presented in the body paragraphs of your assignment – 3 pts for summary of advertisement plan.
  • As noted in the instructions above, your introduction to the altruistic behaviour you chose MUST cite at least one of the websites provided to you for your chosen altruistic behaviour. Failure to do so will result in the loss of a significant number of marks.

Advertisements (approx. 4 paragraphs in length) – 5 points per paragraph for a total of 20 points.

  • You should have 2 APA format headings, 1 for each of your 2 different advertisements. Under each heading, you should describe the nature of the advertisement (e.g, TV ad, social media, etc), what the messaging of the ad is, who (if people are included in the ads) would be featured, and how these ads would be distributed to the public. – 5 points for each advertisement
  • After you have described the details of the advertisement, you must clearly state which of the 3 influences on altruistic behaviour (e.g., kinship, reciprocity norm, or social responsibility norm) this ad makes use of and specifically how it does so. Be very clear here in making these connections and justifying your choices. If you are targeting specific people in the population, explain who you are targeting and why. Be sure to emphasize why you think this would be an effective ad to increase blood donation or food donations. – 5 points for each advertisement
  • You must cite the website I provided to you when you refer to kinship, reciprocity norm, and social responsibility norm in this section of your paper. Failure to do so will result in the loss of a significant number of marks.

Conclusion (approx.. 1 paragraph in length) – 7 points

  • Provide 3 specific reasons why you feel that your advertisements would be effective in increasing blood donation or food donations. – 3 points for 3 specific reasons
  • Identify and clearly explain 2 specific challenges you might encounter if you were to actually implement your plan. – 4 points for 2 specific challenges identified and properly explained

Writing Quality/Format/Citations – 5 points

  • Your paper must not exceed 3 double-spaced pages in length. The TA’s will not mark any material after 3 pages. This is a firm rule. Your assignment should be free of grammar, spelling, and sentence structure issues. I strongly encourage you to have someone proofread your paper before you submit it, as we all miss these errors in our own writing. – 3 marks for length and quality
  • Your assignment must be written in APA 7th edition format and use Times New Roman, 12-point font with 1-inch margins. Your paper must include: an APA format title page, page #’s, APA format in-text citation for the parts taken from the website link provided, and an APA style reference page that includes the websites I provided and that you made use of in your paper. Your paper should NOT rely heavily on direct quotes or word-for-word copying from the website provided. Papers that rely heavily on direct quotes will received grade reductions. – 2 marks for APA format
  • If you are unsure about APA 7 the edition format, refer to this website:

DUE DATE: Your assignment is due on Feb 28 (SEC A) or March 2 (SEC F) at 11:59pm and is to be submitted on eClass using the submission folder in the Assignment 2 module.  Any assignments submitted after 11:59pm will be assigned a 10% per day late penalty, so do not wait until 11:59pm to try and submit it online. 


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