Images of poverty and attributions for poverty: does higher education moderate the linkage?


Development Education is a topical phrase describing campaigns to raise public awareness about global poverty, but how do such processes interact with more formal learning experiences, for example in Higher Education? One hundred and seventy-one final-semester Business versus Social Science University students experienced a conventionally cropped (child's face only) versus full (face-plus-context) campaign-like image of a child in poverty. They also completed the attribution-focused Causes of Third-World Poverty Questionnaire (CTWPQ). Business students tended to disagree less than social science students with blaming-the-poor for poverty. More importantly, a cropped image condition resulted in significantly elevated blame-the-poor scores among business students, but not those in social science. Interactions like this suggest that campaign images can be psychologically tailored to differently educated market segments.


International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing (2009) 14 (2) 101-109 [doi: 10.1002/nvsm.336]

Published 1 January 2009