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Exploring the Role of Cognitive Empathy and Emotional Empathy in Medical Crowdfunding

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Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS,volume 1499)


Medical crowdfunding is booming in recent years, especially as patients with little or no health insurance turn to appeal for help online in covering medical costs. However, most of medical crowdfunding campaigns fail to reach their goals, and we rarely know the reason. Therefore, this study seeks to explore what determines users’ donation behavior in medical crowdfunding. Drawing on the S-O-R model, this study explores how certain stimulus (altruism, trust, and strength of social relationships) induce individuals’ cognitive empathy and emotional empathy (organism), which in turn affect their donation behavior (response) in medical crowdfunding. Data was collect from 142 respondents and analyzed with SmartPLS 3.2.9. Findings indicate that individuals’ donation behavior is positively influenced by their cognitive empathy and emotional empathy, which are positively related to altruism, trust, and strength of social relationships. The potential theoretical and practical contributions are discussed.


  • Medical crowdfunding
  • S-O-R model
  • Cognitive empathy
  • Emotional empathy
  • Donation behavior

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This study was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities No. NR2021003 awarded to the first author; this study was also supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities: No. 2019EC07 awarded to the second author and the Creative Studio of Electronic Commerce in Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

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Liu, L., Tao, Q., Ren, S. (2021). Exploring the Role of Cognitive Empathy and Emotional Empathy in Medical Crowdfunding. In: Stephanidis, C., Antona, M., Ntoa, S. (eds) HCI International 2021 - Late Breaking Posters. HCII 2021. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 1499. Springer, Cham.

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